A new Cycling Officer has joined sustainable transport charity, Sustrans Scotland to encourage school children in Perth to start cycling as part of a two year pilot project to reverse students’ decreasing levels of physical activity.
Kelly Richardson will work with up to 12 schools across the city, including Perth High School, Perth Academy and Oakbank Primary School, to improve cycling facilities and inspire students to pedal to school at least once a week. The project will specifically target pupils aged nine to 16 to tackle the marked decline in cycling during the transition stage from primary to secondary school.
Richardson’s role will involve managing a number of initiatives at schools to boost levels of cycling. Additional cycle training will be given to students with specialised training for girls. With expertise from Sustrans, Kelly will also provide advice on bike maintenance and will motivate students to set up bike clubs and cycle events.
Funded by Bike Hub, a cycling industry initiative, the project is the first of its kind in Scotland and could be rolled out across the country if proved to be a success.
Working in partnership with Perth and Kinross Council, Richardson will work towards increasing the number of students cycling to its targeted schools from the current national level of two per cent to 15 per cent.
Richardson will be based in the Traffic and Road Safety section of The Environment Service at Perth and Kinross Council, and work alongside sustainable transport staff.