Schools in York, Darlington, Doncaster, Harrogate, South Gloucestershire, Bath & North East Somerset, Rochdale, Warrington, Derby, Leicestershire and Leicester, will be soon be included in the Bike It scheme.
A pilot scheme in other UK towns and cities saw cycling-to-school levels quadruple. The scheme pays for four Bike It officers who help schools implement their School Travel Plans, integrating cycling into the mix.
Bike It is aimed at 9-11 years olds, and works first by raising awareness about the benefits of cycling. Next, steps are taken to enable the young people to cycle to school – this could be new cycle parking, or cycle training sessions. The third stage is organising events and incentive schemes to encourage the children to cycle more often, such as bike to school breakfasts and weekly cycle to school days.
Vincent Goodwin, one of the four Sustrans-managed Bike It officers, said:
"Cycling is great for children’s health, well-being and independence. Our initial survey results showed that 45 percent of children want to cycle to school but only 4 percent actually do.
"Thanks to the bike industry, Sustrans’ Bike It is able to expand to new schools meaning that more young people can benefit from cycling to school."
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