Teachers given lessons on pedal power

Sustrans organises free workshops to help teachers promote cycling to their pupils

by Rebecca McIlhone   March 9, 2009  

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Sustrans hopes to make cycling to school top priority by offering free workshops to teachers from more than 40 schools in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

The sustainable transport charity’s four dedicated Bike It officers will give teachers practical advice on how to promote cycling as a way of getting to school, linking up with the aims of the Cycling City project to double the number of cyclists in Bristol in three years.

In a bid to make them practice what they preach, teachers will be encouraged to cycle to the event, which takes place in Bristol on Wednesday. They will be treated to one of the healthy ‘Sustrans Bike It Breakfasts’, which are commonplace in Bike It schools across the country.

The Bike It Action Day will give teachers a chance to learn from other schools on how best to introduce cycling to their pupils by giving them information on bike safety, how to access bike training and an update on how the Cycling City project will benefit schools in the region.

Sustrans Bike It Officer Ben Bowskill said: “This is a unique chance for teachers from all over the region to come with any questions they may have about promoting cycling in their school.

"It is very much an interactive day and an opportunity to share ideas as well as get new ones. We know that 47% of children would like to cycle to school and currently only 2% actually do, this means we have a huge potential to increase cycling levels across Bristol and South Gloucestershire.”

Cllr Dr Jon Rogers, Bristol City Council's Cabinet Member for Transport and Sustainability, said: "Bike It is all about enthusing our children (and their parents and grandparents) with the pleasures of cycling. This tested programme works and complements the efforts of Cycling City to double the number of cyclists in Bristol in three years. We can make it happen.”

Staff, parents and teachers who are interested in promoting cycling and walking in their school are encouraged to call the Sustrans School Travel Team on 0117 9150100 for free information and advice.

For more information on Sustrans visit the website: www.sustrans.org.uk