Last month's snow delayed the opening of a brand new bike workshop at a school in Stoke - a delay which proved lucky as the opening then coincided with the launch of this year's Big Pedal.
Over a year’s collaborative work by Sustrans Schools’ Officer, Andy Barratt and St Margaret Ward Catholic Academy to encourage students and staff to cycle, scoot and walk to school, reached a high point this week when a brand new bike maintenance and storage workshop was opened at the school.
The school had for some time been keen for a space to store bikes and learn about bicycle safety and maintenance. Following the productive partnership with Andy from Sustrans and funding from Stoke on Trent City Council’s Access 2 Education programme, the workshop was built and equipped with the tools and bikes that will teach students and staff the importance of bike maintenance and all aspects of cycling safety.
Andy Barratt of Sustrans explained; “Staff and pupils at the school have worked tirelessly since September 2013 to reach this point and I am delighted that all the training and hard work has led to a long term commitment to make active travel a permanent part of the school’s life.”
The new workshop is large enough for 30 bikes, work tops, tool boxes and a display table and has been built in the school grounds, allowing easy access to the bikes. A whole class of students at a time can fit into the workshop and it is hoped it will be used by cycling staff and other local schools.
Andy added: “The school hopes to open the workshop for visiting schools and for lunch time and afternoon bicycle maintenance sessions. The place also looks brilliant thanks to some sponsorship from paint company Dulux and the efforts of the school’s artists, who have created the most wonderful, and interactive, map of the Tour de France. It’s worth a visit just to see this artwork.”
Following the ribbon cutting ceremony by local MP Joan Walley, recently in the news for her views on energy efficiency, the opening was celebrated by a demonstration of cycle skills.