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Welsh school tackles sedentary lifestyle “epidemic” with active travel to school

students at Ysgol Llywelyn in Denbighshire

Ysgol Llywelyn in Denbighshire has increased the number of pupils choosing an active journey to school by 16%

30 October 2017

Ysgol Llywelyn in Denbighshire has increased the number of pupils choosing an active journey to school by 16%, resulting in over a half of the school community cycling, scooting and walking to school.   

The school is one of 90 schools across Wales to sign up to Sustrans Cymru’s Active Journeys programme. They have fully embraced the scheme, encouraging pupils to exercise on the journey to and from school, raising levels of physical activity across the school community.

Two new storage sheds for bikes have been installed (thanks to funding from the local council and the school) along with pedestrian access with a through route from the car park to the main entrance.  A ‘Park and Stride’ initiative was set up, encouraging parents to park at the Football Club so that pupils could walk the last 10 minutes to school.

Pupils were also awarded house points for travelling actively to school. Two members of staff have been trained as ride leaders by Welsh Cycling and a section of the yard has been cordoned off for pupils to use to practice cycling and scooting during playtime.  

Headteacher, Mari Gaskell, said: 

“We’re thrilled to see more of our pupils travelling to school by bike, scooter and on foot. It’s an excellent way for young people to increase their daily physical activity levels and they arrive at school alert and ready to take on the day. We hope to see this continue to grow in order to reduce traffic at the school gates, creating a safer environment for us all.”

Sustrans’ North Wales Schools Officer said:

“Ysgol Llywelyn has introduced several initiatives to give families lots of options to travel actively to school.  From providing bike parking and better pedestrian access and promoting ‘park and stride’ they’ve really changed the culture at the school, helping pupils to introduce a healthy activity into their everyday routines.”      

Ann Jones Assembly Member, Vale of Clwyd said:

“It’s wonderful to see pupils choosing to travel actively to Ysgol Llywelyn. This shows that interventions such as ‘Park and Stride’, bike parking facilities and support from school staff has a great influence on the lifestyle choices of the pupils. I hope to see more achievements like this across the Vale of Clwyd.”

Find out more about how we are helping enable more children to travel to school across Wales by foot and bike