BIKE TO SCHOOL WEEK
DID you start walking and cycling during lockdown? Would you like to start walking or cycling to school? If so, then you’re not alone.
As we begin to emerge from the COVID-19 lockdown, everyone is looking for physically distanced ways to move around. Therefore, it’s important that steps are taken to make sure it’s easier for more children to walk and cycle to school.
Last year, only 2% of primary school pupils in England regularly cycled to school. However, as physical distancing guidance continues, the UK Government is hoping more children will travel to school actively, which will help to make sure there is enough room on public transport for those who need to travel further.
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO MAKE WALKING AND CYCLING TO SCHOOL EASIER?
As you return to school life, there are a number of things that local authorities can do to help make it easier for you to walk and cycle to school. Such measures include: Restricting access to traffic on residential streets around schools.
Rolling out school streets (where streets outside the school gates are open to people walking and cycling, but closed to cars).
Dedicated cycle lanes separated from cars.
Wider footpaths to help you keep your distance from others.
This can create an environment that helps you travel safely, and encourage those who started cycling during lockdown to continue to do so.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF AN ACTIVE SCHOOL RUN?
There are a number of benefits to being able to walk, cycle and scoot to school, including:
Safety skills and independence – cycling to school helps young people to develop road safety skills and learn how to manage risk gradually. As you gain the skills you need to stay safe, you can develop independence, and discover ways and solutions for getting about by yourself.
A fun and active way to travel – much like cycling, scooting to school can help you develop road safety skills and to gain independence. It is also great fun and
encourages exercise and a more active and healthy lifestyle from a young age.
Keeping fit – by 2050 it is predicted that
70% of girls and 55% of boys will be overweight or obese, but a short walk each day is easy, free and good for your health.
Discovering your local area – walking or cycling to school can help you engage with your local community, develop wider social networks, greater spatial awareness and improved road sense.
It’s good for the environment – the more children who are able to travel actively to school will also help reduce congestion and pollution around the school gates, in turn helping to create a healthier and more appealing environment.