BIKE TO SCHOOL WEEK

First News - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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