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School-aged children across Warwickshire are being encouraged to get on their bikes for Bike to School Week 2021.

Published on Tuesday, 28th September 2021

bike to school

This week, Warwickshire County Council is encouraging all children across the county to take advantage of the many benefits of cycling for their journey to and from school as part of Sustrans’ Bike to School Week 2021, which runs between Monday 27 September and Friday 1 October.

There are many benefits to adopting an active school journey, both for individuals and the wider environment. In terms of benefits to health:

  • Physical activity such as cycling can increase mental alertness, energy, positive mood and self-esteem, as well as reducing stress and anxiety, according to the Mental Health Foundation.
  • Teachers find that pupils who cycle, walk or scoot arrive at school more relaxed, alert and ready to start the day than those who travel by car.
  • Cycling, walking or scooting to school also increases awareness of road safety as well as boosting independence for children.

But removing cars from our rounds during peak periods also has huge benefits for the environment and our impact on the ongoing climate emergency.

Here are some facts:

  • Over 40% of the UKs carbon footprint relates to vehicle emissions and a large proportion of these emissions are produced during short journeys where active travel options would be possible.
  • During the peak traffic times – in the morning and evenings – 1-in-4 vehicles on our roads are undertaking a school run.

Cllr Wallace Redford, portfolio holder for transport and highways, said “Helping children form good habits from a young age through travelling actively to and from school allows them to develop road awareness and learn about risk, therefore helping them learn how to look after themselves and be safe.

“Active Travel, to and from School, not only helps to improve children’s road awareness, it also reduces the number of cars on our roads at peak times, which will reduce the number of potential collisions and be better for the environment.

“I hope that many or our children and young people will be inspired by Bike to School Week and make the switch to a more active means of getting to the school gates.”

To support families and young people travelling safely and actively, Warwickshire Road Safety Education Team has put together some helpful questions, hints and tips to consider:

  • Plan your route in advance, choosing the safest route.
  • Check your bicycle is in a good working order.
  • Plan, prepare and rehearse your journey if using a new route to help you and your children feel more confident.
  • Arrange to meet friends and cycle together.
  • Not enough time? Cycling could take less time than travelling by car but, if you are concerned, why not commit to cycling a few times a week?

More information about road safety and safe and active travel in Warwickshire can be found online: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/roadsafety

Find out more about Sustrans Bike to School Week 2021, here: https://www.sustrans.org.uk/our-blog/projects/uk-wide/schools/bike-to-school-week