Published: 18th OCTOBER 2023

The legacy of the Sustrans Bike It project in Peterborough

The Bike It project helps children to walk, wheel, cycle and scoot to school. After 12 years of work and many successes along the way, the project in Peterborough has come to an end.

School children and Sustrans schools officers Gemma and Eric smile at the camera in the school gymnasium after a Bike It activity.

Sustrans Project Officers Gemma and Eric brought exciting activities to a number of schools across the Peterborough area. Credit: Sustrans

The project, delivered by Sustrans, has seen huge successes in Peterborough over the last decade.

Over 150,000 children have taken part in 2,100 activities across 36 schools, including nearly 1,000 children learning to ride.

These are simply incredible results which have had a true impact on the schools and the children attending them.

Sustrans Project Officers Gemma and Eric visited schools to deliver a range of fun, informative and active sessions.

These included assemblies, learn-to-ride sessions, bike maintenance and fun competitions.

The children learnt why it is important to travel actively, and the benefits of walking, wheeling and cycling as well as practical skills in cycling and scooting.

The schools also took part in national campaigns like Clean Air Day and Cycle to School week, for which Sustrans provided fun and informative resources and sessions.

The Bike It project has brought thousands of activity sessions to over 150,000 children in Peterborough schools.

Enriching the educational experience with Bike It

Positive responses from both head teachers and our champions in the schools we worked with showed the benefits of our Bike it programme.

Zoe Trigg, head teacher at Hampton Lakes Primary School, said:

“Thank you so very much for all that you (Gemma) and Eric have done to enrich the educational experiences of our children.

“We have very much enjoyed all the different sessions you have delivered, and I also know our parents have appreciated your work.

“Not only is the work you do fun, but it has also taught the children how to be confident and competent in the use of their bikes, and is educating us all about the long term benefits of cycling.

“Your service will be very much missed.”


children across 36 schools took part in 2,100 Bike It activities


of CO2 saved by Peterborough schools in the Big Walk and Wheel 2023

Margaret Massey, School Champion at St Augustine's Junior School, added:

“Gemma and Eric have always been very enthusiastic and knowledgeable.

“They make working together as simple as possible, improving our capacity as a school to offer sustainable travel events and advice.

“They are equally good working with children and their parents (Learn-to-Ride) and most importantly have helped us increase the numbers of families walking and scooting to school”.


The Big Walk and Wheel

Schools also had the opportunity to take part in national competitions like the Big Walk and Wheel.

This competition sees schools go head to head to get the most children cycling, walking and wheeling to school each day.

In 2023, eight schools in Peterborough took part in Big Walk and Wheel with over 3,000 children choosing to travel to school actively.

They recorded a total of almost 18,000 journeys by bike, foot or wheel.

This was a brilliant result, equivalent to 2,982 hours of physical activity and saving 15,000 kg of carbon dioxide, enough to fill three hot air balloons.

St Thomas More RC Primary finished in 10th nationally out of over 2,000 schools with 96% of journeys being active.

Blockquote quotation marks
Not only is the work you do fun, but it has also taught the children how to be confident and competent in the use of their bikes, and is educating us all about the long term benefits of cycling. Blockquote quotation marks
Zoe Trigg, head teacher at Hampton Lakes Primary School

The future of the Bike it project

Sustrans are the charity making it easier for people to walk, wheel and cycle.

We support schools, workplaces and community groups to travel actively for more of their everyday journeys.

Peterborough City Council aren’t able to fund the Bike It project this year, but are hoping to secure more funding in the future to get it back up and running in the area.

Our Midlands and East team have thoroughly enjoyed delivering our schools programme in Peterborough.

The schools and families we've reached responded positively to our work, and the change has been clearly visible, with thousands of children benefitting from improved knowledge of active travel and new practical skills.


Find out how we can help your school or local area get more active.

Read more about the Big Walk and Wheel school competition.

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