Schools across the UK are being invited to take part in the 2020 Bike to School Week, running from 28th September to 2nd October.
Organised by Sustrans in partnership with the Bikeability Trust, it aims to celebrate cycling to school and the benefits of travelling actively for children.
Whilst evidence suggests that the change to daily travel habits during the COVID-19 lockdown resulted in more people cycling than before, latest figures show that only 2% of primary school children in England currently travel to school by cycle. However, recently released guidance from the Department for Education shows that due to physical distancing restrictions on public transport, 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.
Measures such as restricting access to through traffic on residential streets around schools, and implementing school streets can create environments that help families travel safely, Sustrans said, and encourage those who started cycling during lockdown to continue to do so. Cycle training, such as Bikeability, can also help pupils cycle safely and confidently on the road.
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.”
Emily Cherry, executive director at The Bikeability Trust, added: “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.”
To support schools throughout Bike to School Week, there is a range of resources available for teachers, including school posters plus a five-day pack of daily activities to be completed in class and a video guide with simple practices to check your bike is safe to ride. Teachers can also access the Bikeability Trust’s ‘Tools for Schools’ assets, a toolbox of exciting, curriculum-linked resources for Early Years, and Key Stages 1 and 2.
Families are also invited to join the Bike to School Week social media competition organised by Sustrans, where sharing photos, videos and messages alongside the hashtag #SustransWin could see one lucky pupil win a prize.
For more information on Bike to School Week, including access to resources, click here.
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