Sustrans and the Bikeability Trust invite schools across the UK to take part in Bike to School Week, Monday 28th September – Friday 2nd October
Charities stress now more than ever families need help to walk and cycle the school run as physical distancing continues
Schools across the UK are invited to take part in the 2020 Bike to School Week, running from 28 September to 2 October. Organised by Sustrans, the walking and cycling charity, in partnership with the Bikeability Trust, Bike to School Week celebrates cycling to school and the benefits of travelling actively for children.
Whilst evidence suggests that the change to daily travel habits during the Covid-19 lockdown resulted in more people cycling than before, latest figures show that only 2% of primary school children in England currently travel to school by cycle. However, recently released guidance from the Department for Education shows that due to physical distancing restrictions on public transport, at least 50% of journeys to school of two miles or less need to be walked and cycled in order to allow space for those on public transport who need to travel further.
Sustrans warns that now more than ever local authorities should work with schools to make walking, cycling and scooting the easiest and most appealing option for families as the physical distancing advice continues. This will help prevent a spike in congestion and improve air quality and health. Measures such as restricting access to through traffic on residential streets around schools, and implementing school streets (where streets outside the schools gates are open to people walking and cycling and closed to cars) can create environments that help families travel safely, and encourage those who started cycling during lockdown to continue to do so. Cycle training, such as Bikeability, can also help pupils cycle safely and confidently on the road.
Xavier Brice, CEO at Sustrans said: “We’re delighted to be able to run Bike to School Week again this year, after what has been a time of great uncertainty for all families across the country. And now, more than ever, it is vital that as many pupils as possible are able to cycle to school through the creation of dedicated routes, and removing cars from the school gates. As we begin to emerge from the Covid-19 crisis, and families are looking for physically distanced ways to move around, it is essential steps are taken to ensure the school run is as safe and healthy as possible for everyone. We are therefore calling on local authorities across the UK to work to help schools and families make active travel the safest and most appealing option. And for schools to get involved in the Bike to School Week when it launches in September.”
Emily Cherry, Executive Director at The Bikeability Trust said: “We are delighted to support Bike to School Week and work in partnership with Sustrans to celebrate cycling to school. The Bikeability Trust has taught over 3.5 million children in England to ride a bike competently on the road and Bike to School Week is a fantastic opportunity for these children to demonstrate and develop the skills they have been taught by our cycle training. We hope that this week will inspire them to continue cycling throughout the school year and beyond.”
To support schools throughout Bike to School Week, there are a range of resources available for teachers, including school posters plus a 5-day pack of daily activities to be completed in class and a video guide with simple practices to check your bike is safe to ride. These activities aim to inspire pupils to think about their journeys to school, understand the benefits of active travel, and consider the causes and effects of air pollution, as they return to school life. Teachers can also access the Bikeability Trust’s ‘Tools for Schools’ assets, a toolbox of exciting, curriculum linked resources for Early Years, and Key Stages 1 and 2.
Families are also invited to join the Bike to School Week social media competition organised by Sustrans, where sharing photos, videos and messages alongside the hashtag #SustransWin could see one lucky pupil win an exciting prize.
Find out more about Bike to School Week by visiting our dedicated webpage