CYCLING or walking to school is now a real alternative for children from Brookside Primary School, in Stockport, thanks to the Sustrans Bike It project.
Bike It officer Nes Brierley, PowWow community artist Anna Smith and a group of young artists from the school celebrated the success of the Bike It initiative by painting a giant mural to brighten up the playground and promote cycling.
Brookside is one of eleven schools across Stockport and Rochdale where Bike It officers work directly with pupils, parents and staff to help them overcome whatever it is that is preventing them from cycling to school. This includes organizing cycle training, helping to install new bike sheds, contributing to classroom work and providing information about safe routes to schools.
The amazing success of the initiative has led to a trebling of cycling levels within participating schools in a year - bucking the national trend of declining numbers.
Maxine Holmes, head teacher of Brookside, said: "Bike It has been such a positive influence in Brookside Primary School and the recent day of painting has created an amazing mural. It looks fantastic and really brightens up our school playground. Sustrans have provided the necessary practical support to mean cycling to school is a real alternative to the car. I look forward to another successful year."
Bike It officer Nes Brierley said: "It is vital that we give young people in communities across the country the opportunity to travel in ways which are healthy, sustainable and fun. Cycling to school has so many benefits for pupils such as improved health, confidence and concentration, and the obvious benefits for the environment they will grow up in."
The Bike It project works with more than 400 schools and over 60,000 children and young people in communities across England and Wales.
For more information visit: www.sustrans.org.uk