Children, parents and teachers are being encouraged to travel to school by bike, foot or scooter as part of a national campaign.
Organised by the walking and cycling charity Sustrans and backed by Staffordshire County Council, the Big Pedal 2021 started on 19 April.
Staffordshire continues to lead the way when it comes to encouraging more parents and children to actively travel to school. Walking buses, scooter and cycle training, ‘Park and Stride’ schemes are all helping to improve physical health and air quality, whilst reducing congestion outside school gates.
New social media channels being launched this month by the Active School Travel team will also help to raise awareness and promote the benefits of more active travel. The April launch of INTOschooltravel also includes an exciting competition with prizes in the lead up to May’s Walk to School week.
Bikeability National Cycle Training also continues to give children the skills they need to cycle safely, with the county now amongst the areas with the highest number of children trained. This year, the £500,000 Department for Transport funding is expected to provide training places for over 15,000 students.
Over ten days, schools will compete against each other to see who can make the most journeys by bike, foot, scooter or wheelchair.
Clive Thomson, Assistant Director for Connectivity and Sustainability at Staffordshire County Council said: “Using more active modes of travel is not only good for people’s health and wellbeing but is also good for the environment. Over the last few years our School Travel Advisors have been working closely with schools to encourage more parents and their children to walk, bike or scoot to school. Throughout the pandemic, we have seen more people using active travel and we are keen to see this continue.
“The Big Pedal campaign is always a popular event and with warmer weather expected over the we hope to see many local families joining in. This, along with our Bikeability scheme, which continues to train thousands of pupils on safe cycling, will all help make us a more active county.”
Active travel can play a key role in improving air quality outside the school gates, whilst helping to boost children’s activity and concentration levels. People can find out more about active school travel in Staffordshire at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/activeschooltravel or on social media.
For further details on the Big Pedal campaign follow Sustrans on Facebook https://en-gb.facebook.com/Sustrans
(Main image Bikeability Instructors and Cyclists Trevor Craven and Rosie Hunt.)