Pupils from 12 schools in Thurrock made an astonishing 12,874 journeys by bike to school and back, over three weeks in March as part of a national cycle race called the Big Pedal, which saw over 800 schools across the UK compete to be the fastest.
The race, powered by UK charity Sustrans and funded by the cycle industry through its Bike Hub, was created to inspire and encourage children to cycle on a regular basis, to show just how easy and cheap it is to swap the car for a bike for shorter journeys. Nationally, over 1.2 million journeys were made by bike to and from school by teachers, children and parents in just three weeks.
Bonnygate Primary school won first prize in the Thurrock regional category after finishing in 39th place out of 828 schools that entered from across the country. The school received three different sized ‘pool bikes’ which pupils, parents and teachers can borrow to try out cycling to school.
Katie van Dop Sustrans Bike It officer, for Thurrock comments, “I was amazed at the effort from children, parents and teachers for this year’s race, it was a huge success. It was brilliant to see bike sheds and playgrounds full of bikes from children who had got to school under their own steam.
“Cycling really helps to improve a child’s confidence, independence and health, not to mention the environment in which we live. The race has encouraged many children and their parents to use two wheels instead of four on the school run, demonstrating just how easy it is to cycle to school.”
Sustrans haven’t stopped there. We caught up with Katie at another Bike-it day at Ormiston Park earlier this week.