Schools in Doncaster, Goole and York are regional winners in the Sustrans Big Pedal competition, in which thousands of children walk, cycle and scoot their school journeys.
The UK-wide event organised by the national cycling and walking charity ran from 25 March to 5 April, with over half a million participants across the country making 3.8 million journeys to school by foot, bicycle or scooter.
In Yorkshire around 150 schools competed in Sustrans’ Big Pedal. Arksey Primary School in Doncaster came out tops for the small primary schools five day challenge category in Yorkshire and the Humber region (5th place nationally), with an amazing 99 per cent of children travelling actively during the competition. Boothferry Primary School in Goole won the regional large primary school section, with 96 per cent of children walking or getting on bikes and scooters.
In addition, St Barnabas Primary was the only school in Yorkshire to join 40 schools across the UK which closed their street to cars during the afternoon pick up time, holding a street party for children, parents and the local community.
Rosslyn Colderley, director of Sustrans in the North, said: “Well done to all our schools in Yorkshire! This year’s Big Pedal saw the highest number of pupils and parents take part since we first launched the competition back in 2010. This is a fantastic achievement, which tells us that children want to cycle, scoot and walk to school.
“It also demonstrates there’s a growing public awareness of the effects of motor emissions and the role more walking and cycling can play in reducing them. But to make it easier for parents and pupils to continue travel by bike and foot, the roads outside schools need to feel safe. One of the best ways to do this is by making streets outside the school gates car free.”
A YouGov survey carried out for Sustrans to launch the start of the Big Pedal found that two thirds (63 per cent) of teachers would support a ban on motor vehicles outside the school gates during school drop off and pick up times and more than half (59 per cent) want the Government to take urgent action to improve air quality near schools.
Organised by Sustrans, and sponsored by Micro Scooters and Tonik Energy, the Big Pedal, is the largest inter-school cycling, walking and scooting competition of its kind in the UK.