Schools across England are set to benefit from new funding to get more children riding their bike or walking to school, cycling minister Chris Heaton-Harris announced yesterday.
A new million-pound programme will see cycle repair workshops set up in primary schools and local neighbourhoods to make sure students’ bikes are fit for the road. ‘Doctor Bike’ clinics will be rolled out next month, targeting areas where children, including those with disabilities, are more likely to need support in getting their bikes roadworthy for regular use on the school run.
A further £1 million has also been announced to boost the number of children walking to school. The Walk to School Outreach Programme – which has already generated four million new walking trips – is being extended to roll out further measures to support walking.
“Cycling and walking is good for people and the planet’s health, so we want half of all journeys to be cycled or walked by 2030,” said Heaton-Harris. “To do that, we must encourage young people to see cycling and walking as normal as getting the bus or train.
“This funding will support schools and local communities to get more children walking to school, and set up bike surgeries that will help children get their bikes ready to roll, so they can start their day healthy and happy!”
CEO of Sustrans Xavier Brice added: “We’re delighted to be able to run Bike to School Week again this year, after what has been a time of great uncertainty for all families across the country.
“Our new research shows that the majority of UK parents support changes that have already been made to the streets and places in their local area to make walking and cycling to school easier. It has also identified that interventions, such as cycle routes separated from road traffic, safer junctions and cycling training would help families travel actively to school more.
“It’s fantastic that the UK Government is recognising the role walking and cycling projects can play in helping families travel in a way that is good for their health and for the environment.”
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