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Credit: J Bewley, Sustrans

UK schools invited to take part in Bike to School Week

Schools across the UK have been invited to take part in the 2019 Bike to School Week from 23rd to 27th September.

Organised by Sustrans, the walking and cycling charity, and supported by the Bikeability Trust, Bike to School Week celebrates cycling to school and the benefits of travelling actively for children.

Current figures show that only 2% of primary school children in England currently travel to school by cycle. This is a stark contrast to cycling levels elsewhere such as in the Netherlands, where cycling is the main mode of transport for 49% of primary school children.

To support schools throughout Bike to School Week, there are a range of resources available, including school posters plus a five-day pack of daily activities to be completed in class and a video guide with simple practices to check bikes are safe to ride.

Outside of the classroom, families are invited to join two competitions:

– The Bike to School Week Sustrans photo competition, where sharing photos of cycling to and from school with the hashtag #SustransWin could see one pupil win a brand new Frog Bike. Parents are also invited to download the Sustrans guide that offers tips on cycling, walking and scooting to school.
– The Bikeability Trust story competition. All entrants of stories about riding to and from school during Bike to School Week will be entered into a prize draw to win a brand new Carrera Abyss 24 inch wheel suitable for eight to nine years old: To enter: https://bikeability.org.uk/your-stories/

Xavier Brice, CEO at Sustrans said: “Bike to School Week is a great way to show the benefits of cycling to school for children across the UK and to promote the positive impact that an active lifestyle can have on children’s wellbeing and overall health.

“We’re calling on schools across the country to take part, use the new resources and inspire children and parents to travel actively to school. We also hope Bike to School Week will send a clear message to the UK Government to prioritise a safer and more pleasant environment for children to walk and cycle to school.”

A survey conducted by the Bikeability Trust of over 1,000 parents with children aged 12 and under showed that 63% of parents think cycling is an easy way to increase their child’s physical activity levels. The Bikeability Trust will be working throughout Bike to School Week to inspire pupils who have completed their Bikeability training to continue cycling confidently between home and school.

Undertaking professional cycle training can play a huge part in overcoming some of the initial fears of getting out and about on the roads, and will equip young riders with the competence and confidence to cycle well and share the road appropriately with other road users.

Bikeability training is available through Local Authorities, and parents can ask their child’s school about what Bikeability training they have planned for the year.

Paul Robison, CEO at the Bikeability Trust said: “Bike to School Week is an excellent chance for children who have done their Bikeability training to put their skills into practice and so develop longer-term cycling habits for the future. They can then go on to explore not only the trip to and from school, but also around their neighbourhoods to meet friends, go to the swimming pool, or nip down to the shops.

“We also hope that Bike to School Week will encourage schools to offer more cycle training to children who have not yet had the chance to gain this essential life-skill of being able to cycle competently.”

For more information on Bike to School Week, including access to resources, visit https://www.sustrans.org.uk/campaigns/bike-to-school-week-2019/

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