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Neath Port Talbot school scoops Sustrans award

Proportion of pupils cycling to classes more than doubles to seven in ten

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.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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