Families in Coventry take part in UK’s biggest cycling, walking and scooting school challenge

SS St Peter & Paul Catholic Primary School, Coventry

Pupils at SS St Peter & Paul Catholic Primary School in Coventry attending a breakfast session.

1 April 2019

Twelve schools in Coventry have been taking part in The Big Pedal, the UK’s largest cycling, walking and scooting challenge for schools.

The annual contest, which started on Monday 25 March and runs until Friday 5 April 2019, aims to get more people cycling and scooting to school and will include walking for the first time.

Across the country, 2,292 schools have signed up with 744,343 pupils taking part. Even though we’re halfway through the competition, there’s still time to enrol. Schools that cannot take part in the 10 days of the challenge can take part in a one day challenge.

Schools and pupils who take part in the challenge will be entered into local and national prize draws. Schools in Coventry could win prizes including a Mountain Bike Stunt Show, Scooters, Balance Bikes and Bikes for their school.

This year’s competition coincides with Coventry’s year as European City of Sport and the year of wellbeing. It’s being backed by Angellica Bell, British television, radio presenter and cycling advocate, who took on the ‘Tour de Celeb’ in 2016 where she found her love for cycling.

Commenting on the campaign Angellica Bell said: 

“I’m delighted to be supporting this year’s Big Pedal. It’s a fantastic way to encourage more children to cycle, walk or scoot – doing wonders for their health and the environment around them. I hope as many schools as possible sign up for the challenge and inspire children and families across the UK to get on their feet, scooter or bike for their journey to school.”

Matt Easter, Sustrans England Director Midlands and East, said:

“The Big Pedal may only run for two weeks but can leave a lasting effect on the way children travel to school. It can show parents what’s possible and how easy it can be to leave the car at home for a few extra journeys a week. All the evidence shows that fewer and cleaner car journeys are needed to improve air quality in our cities, so cycling and walking must be part of the solution. That’s why we’re working with schools in Coventry to make walking and cycling a safe and attractive alternative for short journeys.”

Although the competition only runs for a short period we've been funded by Coventry City Council to deliver a range of activities at a number of schools in the northeast of the city.  We were commissioned as part of the wider Choose How You Move programme to improve air quality in the city following a grant from the Joint Air Quality Unit in central government. The project has been focused on the A4600 corridor - better known as ‘Ball Hill’ and Ansty Road where pollution has exceeded safe levels there for some time.

Please visit www.bigpedal.org.uk for more information about the project.