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With children spending more time behind screens than outside, cycling can be a healthy and fun way of encouraging children to enjoy the outdoors. People of all ages can enjoy cycling, but learning to ride from a young age will equip children with a skill for life. Cycling to school is a good starting point to get children out and about and on their bikes. Providing cycle parking at school will encourage more pupils to ride to school.
Benefits of Cycling To School
For children that may not be confident on their bikes or are new to cycling, the Bikeability Scheme is a good starting point. Bikeability is a government recognised cycle training scheme with three levels from basic skills of riding a bike to more advanced training of cycling on roads and busy streets. The Bikeability website provides some great resources to encourage children to get our on their bikes.
The Government plans to encourage more people to cycle as outlined in their National Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, which is set to provide funding to improve facilities and infrastructure to fulfil this aim.
A number of different schemes have been used by Local Authorities and Councils to get more people on cycles either for commuting to work or recreational purposes. For example, Birmingham City Council have a 20 year initiative to encourage more people to cycle in and around the city. Last year, as part of this scheme they have away 3,000 bikes to local people. This year they are providing a number of free services including ‘Learn to Ride’, ‘Cycle Maintenance’ sessions and Weekly Rides.
Leicester City Council is currently working through an ongoing action plan to encourage people to cycle by improving facilities and resources available within the city. This includes changes to the infrastructure, organised bike rides and cycle training, to name a few. Part of the scheme includes providing cycle parking solutions to schools to help encourage more children to cycle to school.
Leicester Freestyle BMX Champion, Keelan Phillips supports the Schools Ride, organised as part of the council’s action play, every year. Burbage School in Hinckley, Leicester recently had an official opening of their new Wardale Cycle Shelters supplied by Broxap. Burbage School invites Keelan along with a Broxap representative, to help launch the cycle shelters and to promote the benefits of cycling to school. Keelan also performed some of his BMX tricks and stunts for the children.
Cycling to school is an easy way to get children on their bikes and provides an active start to the day. It also means that less time will be spent in queues and looking for a parking space at the school gates. Offering more cycle parking solutions within schools can encourage children to use their bikes. The increase in facilities provides a secure place to park cycles.