A ‘Bike Friendly Schools’ scheme designed to help pupils get pedal-ready was launched at one of our schools in Bradford this week.
Bradford's Bike Friendly Schools
The scheme was launched as part of the Big Pedal, our inter-school competition that encourages more children to cycle and scooter to school.
The 'Bike Friendly Schools' aims to help local children learn to cycle safely so they can be ready to use the new CityConnect cycle route between Bradford and Leeds once it opens.
'Bike Friendly Schools' scheme
Byron Primary School in Bradford marked the start of the ‘Bike Friendly Schools scheme, which will allow pupils and staff at schools along the route to take advantage of the Cycle Superhighway and canal towpaths.
Schools taking part in the new scheme will benefit from having cycle storage installed, access to bikes for their pupils, and extra training for staff and pupils.
“ CityConnect and the 'Bike Friendly Schools' scheme is helping to bring a much-needed change to Bradford and beyond. ”
Response to the scheme
Over the last year our local schools officer Ian Cullen has been working at Byron Primary School to encourage more pupils and staff to get on their bikes for the journey to school. He has coordinated activities with CityConnect and BeCycling. The school has attracted record numbers of pupils during the Big Pedal this week.
West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Deputy Transport Chair Cllr Eric Firth said:
“The Cycle Superhighway runs through some of the most deprived areas in the country, where access to a bike is as low as one in five for households in these communities, which means many children never even learn to ride.
"By enabling schools to become bike friendly our CityConnect teams can help cycling become part of their physical education, teaching their pupils to ride and helping them to access bikes which are stored on school grounds.
"I’m pleased to say the CityConnect ‘Bike Friendly Schools’ scheme has already proved extremely popular and is booked up for the rest of this school year.
"Byron Primary, where we are launching the scheme, is investing in training teachers to include cycling as part of the standard activities the school offers, and is working with CityConnect to build some high-quality, secure bike storage.”
Helping pupils develop skills
CityConnect's ‘Bike Friendly Schools’ scheme will include a cycling activity for every year a pupil is at school - developing skills in bike handling and confidence before tying-in with national schemes such as BikeAbility to develop on-road cycling skills.
Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Portfolio holder of Environment, Sport and Culture said:
"CityConnect and the 'Bike Friendly Schools' scheme is helping to bring a much-needed change to Bradford and beyond – helping to break down the barriers that children face by giving them great experiences, improved health and fitness and well-developed skills which will help them to access further education and employment in the future."
The scheme is open to schools near the CityConnect routes.