On your bike for national cycling to school campaign

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Schools across Staffordshire are being invited to take part in the 2019 Bike to School Week, from 23 to 27 September.

The campaign, being supported by Staffordshire County Council’s school travel team is calling on schools, parents and children to join the celebration and cycle to school during that week.

Current figures show that only 2% of primary school children in England 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.

Helen Fisher, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport at Staffordshire County Council said: “Cycling for leisure and getting to work and school is a great activity that not only helps people stay healthy but can help to reduce air pollution and congestion on our busy roads.

Helen Fisher with cycling instructors Keith Powell and Cameron White both from Cyclist Training Ltd.

“We’re working hard to make cycling an easy, safe, and appealing option for travelling to school and this is the perfect week to give it a go. I would definitely urge schools, parents and pupils to take part in the campaign and enjoy the many benefits of cycling.

“Cycle training through Bikeability in our schools is also helping keep pupils safer on their bikes and each year delivers training to around 10,000 children across the county. This not only teaches pupils how to ride safely on the roads but also helps encourage people to cycle when they are older.”

Bike to School Week is Organised by Sustrans, the walking and cycling charity, and supported by the Bikeability Trust.

Schools can sign up to the campaign at https://bikeability.org.uk/bikeability-club/bike-to-school-week/ and access a range of promotional materials. People can also enter a competition to win a brand new Carrera Abyss bicycle 24 inch wheel suitable for 8 – 9 year olds.

Xavier Brice, CEO at Sustrans said: “We’re calling on schools across the country to take part in Bike to School Week, use the new resources and inspire children and parents to travel actively to school. We also hope the campaign 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.

Paul Robison, CEO at the Bikeability Trust says, “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.”

People can find out more about cycling in Staffordshire at https://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/Transport/cycling/Cycling-overview.aspx

Individual cycling maps for all districts, which show both traffic free and quieter routes suitable for cycling and on the road are available from local libraries