A school in Neath Port Talbot, South Wales, has become the first in the principality to be granted a School Mark Award from Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity. Bryn Primary School has been awarded the accolade after getting more pupils to use pedal power to get to school.
Earlier today, Jane Davidson, Welsh Assembly Minister for Environment, Sustainability
and Housing, presented the school with the bronze award to recognise pupils,
parents and teachers for their contribution in getting more than one in three students to regularly use their bicycles to get to and from school.
Sustrans, which works with 47 schools throughout Wales, 17 of them in Neath Port Talbot, has been helping Bryn Primary since Autumn 2008, with a dedicated Bike It officer helping children to surmount the obstacles that stopped them from riding to school.
Now, the scholol has a bike session each Friday afternoon, as well as bike-themed events throughout the year such as bike breakfasts, cycle skill lessons, guided rides and classes on puncture repair as well as bike mechanic sessions. As a result, the number of children cycling to school has grown from three in ten to seven in ten.
Jane Lorimer, Deputy Director, Sustrans Cymru, said: “I’m delighted that
Bryn Primary has become the first school in Wales to receive a School Mark
Award. The children, parents and teachers have shown a real dedication to using
two wheels instead of four on the school run. The school has really embraced a
culture of cycling and I’m sure it will continue with even more events and activities
to inspire children to take to two wheels.”
She added: “We are hoping that this award, coupled with Bryn’s success, will encourage other schools to be part of the scheme.”
Ms Davidson said: "I would like to congratulate the pupils and staff of Bryn Primary School on the excellent progress they have made in increasing cycling rates. I am really impressed to learn that seven out of ten pupils are now cycling regularly.”
She continued: "This is exactly the kind of behaviour I am working to encourage and is why the Welsh Assembly Government is funding the Safe Routes in communities initiative which at Bryn Road Primary School has resulted in safer road crossings, new pathways, secure cycle storage and improved road markings.”
"I remain committed to encouraging safe, active and environmentally friendly
school travel and hope that Bryn Primary School will be the first of many Welsh
schools to gain the School Mark Award," Ms Davidson continued.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.