Programme to get more students in North Somerset cycling to school
- Credit: North Somerset Council
A national charity and North Somerset Council have teamed up to help get more students cycling to school.
Selected schools will take part in Sustran's Bike It programme, receiving support from a Bike It officer to help students gain more confidence cycling.
Participating students will have the opportunity to benefit from curriculum-linked sessions, led rides as well as cycle skill workshops.
The work promoting active travel helps students travel more independently and keeps cars off the road, with the related health and mental wellbeing benefits.
All families and schools in North Somerset are also invited to take part in The Big Pedal 2021 - the UK’s largest cycling, walking, wheeling and scooting competition for primary and secondary schools.
It runs until April 30 and will see young people across the UK compete with one another to make the most active journeys whether they are travelling to school or learning from home.
Both Bike It and the Big Pedal support healthy lives and encourage children to get moving and partake in the advised 60 minutes of physical activity each day.
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The initiatives play an important role in getting back to normal after lockdown, with new data from Sport England suggesting there has been a decline in the physical activity levels of children due to the pandemic.
Almost a third of children in England did less than 30 minutes of daily physical activity in the academic year.
Cllr Bridget Petty, the council's executive member for climate emergency and engagement, said: “Walking, scooting and cycling plays an important role in creating a greener and healthier North Somerset.
"We are pleased to be working with Sustrans to offer these initiatives, which are being run alongside our work to ensure safe walking and cycling routes to school.
“Active travel to school is part of our wider climate emergency action plan designed to reduce carbon emissions from activity in North Somerset.
"At the moment 42 per cent of our carbon emissions come from transport so it’s essential that consider how we travel.”
James Cleeton, regional director at Sustrans, said: “We’re excited that the Big Pedal is returning for 2021, after what has been a truly difficult year for all, and the need to make time to incorporate physical activity into our daily routines seems important now more than ever.
“More people travelling actively for essential everyday journeys such as the school run means fewer cars on the road, helping to ease congestion and reduce air pollution around school gates.”