Calling all schools! Sustrans teamed up with the Bikeability Trust to invite schools across the UK to take part in this year’s Bike to School Week. The event runs from 28 September to 2 October 2020 and celebrates the amazing benefits that an active school run can bring.
Organised by Sustrans in partnership with the Bikeability Trust, Bike to School Week celebrates cycling to school and the benefits of traveling actively for children.
Getting more children to cycle to school
Evidence suggests that the change to daily travel habits during the Covid-19 lockdown resulted in more people cycling than before.
However, the latest figures show that only 2% of primary school children in England currently travel to school by cycle (Walking and Cycling Statistics, England, 2019).
Making walking, cycling, and scooting the easiest way to get to school
Recently released guidance from the Department for Education shows that at least 50% of journeys to school of two miles or less need to be walked and cycled in order to allow space for those on public transport who need to travel further.
This is due to the current physical distancing restrictions on public transport.
Now more than ever local authorities should work with schools to make walking, cycling and scooting the easiest and most appealing option for families as the physical distancing advice continues.
This will help prevent a spike in congestion and improve air quality and health.
Helping families to travel safely
There are lots of ways we can create environments that help families travel safely, and encourage those who started cycling during lockdown to continue to do so. Such measures include:
restricting access to through traffic on residential streets around schools
implementing school streets (where streets outside the school gates are open to people walking and cycling and closed to cars).
Cycle training, such as Bikeability, can also help pupils cycle safely and confidently on the road.
A safe and healthy school run for everyone
Xavier Brice, CEO at Sustrans said:
“We’re delighted to be able to run Bike to School Week again this year, after what has been a time of great uncertainty for all families across the country.
“And now, more than ever, it is vital that as many pupils as possible are able to cycle to school through the creation of dedicated routes, and removing cars from the school gates.
“As we begin to emerge from the Covid-19 crisis, and families are looking for physically distanced ways to move around, it is essential steps are taken to ensure the school run is as safe and healthy as possible for everyone.
“We are therefore calling on local authorities across the UK to work to help schools and families make active travel the safest and most appealing option.
“And for schools to get involved in the Bike to School Week when it launches in September.”
Inspiring children to keep on cycling
Emily Cherry, Executive Director at The Bikeability Trust said:
“We are delighted to support Bike to School Week and work in partnership with Sustrans to celebrate cycling to school.
“The Bikeability Trust has taught over 3.5 million children in England to ride a bike competently on the road.
“And Bike to School Week is a fantastic opportunity for these children to demonstrate and develop the skills they have been taught by our cycle training.
“We hope that this week will inspire them to continue cycling throughout the school year and beyond.”
For more information and additional resources for the week, please visit the Sustrans website.