Pupils encouraged to get cycling during Bike to School Week

23 September 2020

Cheshire West and Chester Council is encouraging pupils across the borough to cycle to school during this year’s national Bike to School Week (28 September to 2 October 2020).

The national event, organised by Sustrans and supported by the Bikeability Trust, celebrates cycling to school and the positive impact an active lifestyle can have on pupils’ health and wellbeing.

Choosing a more active form of travel to get to school, such as cycling, walking or scooting, will also help cut air pollution near the school gates, which can affect children as their organs and immune systems are still developing. Switching to active travel will also help towards the borough’s target of becoming carbon neutral by 2045 as part of the Council’s commitment to tackle the Climate Emergency.

The Council’s Road Safety Team organises free Bikeability courses at both primary and secondary schools across the borough, providing pupils with important road safety knowledge and the bike skills to confidently ride their bike to school.

Councillor Karen Shore, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport said: “Over the last six months as we’ve adapted to COVID-19 guidance more and more families have been getting active and heading out on their bikes to explore the local area. We’ve been encouraging families to keep this up as schools opened for the autumn term to help reduce the spread of the virus and lots of schools have signed up to our Bikeability courses to support their pupils to ride safely.

“Active travel, such as cycling, provides a range of physical and mental health benefits for our children and helps set them up for a great day of learning in the classroom. Using the journey to school to get active will not only benefit your child’s health but will also improve the air quality in our communities.”

Lee Cummins, Headteacher at Upton by Chester High School, said: “We have been hosting Bikeability training sessions on a regular basis since 2017, with over 350 students successfully achieving Level 3 accreditation in this time. The sessions have now become a regular part of our September intake process. 

“We offer spaces to all incoming year 7 and existing year 8 students to ensure as many children have access to the course as possible, and as a school community we are reassured that all students riding to school have been provided with the guidance and training to ensure that they are equipped to cycle to school safely and with confidence. The training is of the highest calibre and the courses are always popular with the students and their families.” 

For information on cycling, visit the Sustrans website or visit the iTravelSmart website for details about cycle routes in the borough. Parents are also advised to check their school's website and social media channels regularly for the latest information from their school and details about drop off and pick up arrangements. 

The Council is keen to promote active travel in the borough and to encourage increased levels of walking and cycling, as part of the Walk. Ride. Thrive campaign.This is in line with the sustainable travel and health and wellbeing objectives set out in the Council Plan and the Place Plan. This will also help support our ambition to tackle the climate emergency and be a carbon neutral borough.

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