The walking and cycling charity Sustrans will launch their largest-ever competition to encourage school pupils to walk, cycle and scoot to school.
The Big Pedal campaign will launch in May this year with the aim to build on Sustrans 2019 campaign which involved over 1,600 schools and saw 3.8 million journeys made by bike, foot and scooter.
According to the charity, as little as 17% of children are meeting the recommended daily 60 minutes of physical activity a day and with currently just 2% of children cycling to school, making changes to the school run is a great way to boost activity.
The competition will encourage pupils to track their journeys on a wall chart with the aim to teach them the benefits that active travel has on their health, the environment and on air pollution.
On each day of the challenge, schools will compete to see which school can get the highest percentage of their pupils, staff and parents cycling, walking or scooting to school.
If over 15% of the school community cycle, walk or scoot on that day of the challenge, then the school will be entered into a daily prize draw for rewards.
Dame Sarah Storey, British Paralympian and active travel commissioner for the Sheffield region said: ‘Walking, cycling or scooting to school is a fantastic way for families to include activity in their daily lives, and helps to improve both the physical and mental health of children and their parents.
‘By removing the number of cars at the school gate, the streets will become less congested and polluted, making the school run more pleasant for all.’
Xavier Brice, CEO of Sustrans said: ‘With the climate crisis in the forefront of pupils and parents mind, campaigns like the Big Pedal are a fun way for us to reduce carbon by walking or cycling to school and make a real difference to our local environment, from less congested streets to better air quality.
‘To make it easier for more parents and children to cycle or walk to school, the UK government must invest in walking and cycling infrastructure so that our streets become a more pleasant and safer environment for families to travel by foot or bike.’
In November 2019, Sustrans published their own manifesto for the General Election 2019, calling on all political parties to take bold action on road transport emissions.
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