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Children will test-ride bikes to launch nationwide project

Mud-splattered mountain bikes to a modern penny farthing will be trialled by children at a Surrey school to celebrate starting a nationwide project to enhance the school run.

Hundreds of youngsters at The Beacon School in Banstead will try out the bikes and pedal power their own breakfast smoothies for the launch of Bike It - run by Sustrans.

The Beacon School is one of three high schools in addition to 15 primary schools across Reigate and Banstead where children are being encouraged to cycle every day, and links in with the school’s annual Healthy Week.

Sustrans Bike It officer Gayle Rowson said: “It is great to see cycling pushed up the agenda by encouraging children to get back on their bikes, and I’m sure the response will be fantastic. Nearly half of children want to cycle to school but currently only two per cent do so there is a massive potential for improvement.

“Pedalling the daily school run will boost children’s health, confidence and sense of independence – and is a great skill that will hopefully stay with them throughout their adult lives.”

Nathan Browne from Horizons Mountain Biking will help to hone the pupils’ mountain bike skills with sessions on the school grounds. And Fred Ellis from Pedal4Health will bring in recumbent bikes and a modern penny farthing for the students to try out.

For more information about Sustrans and Bike It, visit www.sustrans.org.uk