Cycling to School
Our children need to become streetwise, literally. Cycling to school incorporates physical activity into childrens daily routine and has countless positive effects, from reducing congestion to improving pupils fitness levels. Almost half of children would prefer to travel to school by bike, but currently only 2 per cent do so.
With the average journey to primary school under two miles, and the average trip to secondary school less than three, Cycling England is upping the pace to get more pupils back on their bikes.
Our Bikeability scheme is fast becoming one of the most popular parts of the school day, with on-road training helping children develop vital skills and confidence. We work with Local Authorities, School Sports Partnerships and individual teachers to provide professional instruction on the playground, quiet local roads and more complicated traffic conditions. Half a million more 10-year-olds will have earned a Bikeability badge by 2012. Please see below for a report detailing the uptake and availability of Bikeability so far.
We also work with our partner, Sustrans, on a landmark schools champions project known as Bike It. This scheme sends cycling ambassadors right into schools, supporting them with travel planning, safety issues and lesson plans. The champions have already quadrupled the number of children cycling in the schools that they work with, and more will be recruited as a result of our increased funding. See the Sustrans website for more information on the Bike It scheme.
Finally, we are committed to providing Safe Routes to Schools, identifying and creating quiet cycle routes away from main public highways. As part of our three-year plan we are building another 250 links to schools, connecting them to the National Cycle Network.
As well as encouraging cycling, these programmes contribute to key education objectives from the Healthy Schools initiative to the School Travel Plan 2010 objective, and the 2020 Sustainable Schools vision.
Relevant local authority case studies and best practise reports on encouraging cycling to school can be found with Travel plans and wider engagement.