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Children Getting Active and Car Use Reducing On School Journeys

Bedford Borough Council and Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity, work with local schools in Bedford Borough to encourage children and parents to walk, cycle or scoot to school.

Since 2016, Sustrans has seen car use for the school run decrease and more pupils regularly cycling or ‘travelling actively’ to get to school.

In the 2018/19 school year, Sustrans delivered over 200 activities with over 23,000 pupil attendances to a variety of sessions including learning how to scoot safely, bike skills and learning to balance on a bike.

The Sustrans project is not just about getting local children more active on their journey to school, but throughout their lives. A survey of local school children has shown that more are using their bikes during their free time, forming good habits for a lifetime.

Sustrans runs activities and programmes to get children moving in Bedford Borough, and one of the biggest is the ‘Big Pedal’. This is the UK’s largest inter-school cycling and walking challenge, and it took place across 10 days in during 2019. In just those 10 days, over 36,000 school journeys were made in Bedford by walking, cycling or scooting, with over 180,000 miles travelled actively.

Cllr Charles Royden, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Transport said “It is great to see local school pupils getting active on their way to school, from walking, to using their scooters, or cycling. This goes beyond just the school run. It’s about forming good habits for life, getting active and travelling in a sustainable way - for them and for the whole family.”

Schools can contact Bedford@sustrans.org.uk for more details about the Sustrans and their work.