Thursday, 26 November 2015

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Carlisle pupils join campaign to get more children to cycle to school

THESE children have a simple message to everyone – get on your bike.

They are all taking part in the 2014 Big Pedal, which aims to get children cycling to school this week and next.

Their school, Pennine Way Primary in Harraby, Carlisle, is taking part in this scheme for the first time this year.

It is one of 30 across Cumbria which is involved in the scheme, a record number for the county, up from 17 last year.

Schools taking part record the distance travelled by pupils then put these into a virtual race around the UK.

The winning small and large primary schools in Cumbria will win a fun cycling session from Cyclewise while the overall victors will receive a guided mountain biking session at Whinlatter Forest, near Keswick.

Andrew Beattie, Pennine Way’s deputy head, said: “We have done quite a lot of things with cycling in our school.”

This has included lunchtime cycling sessions and lessons on how to use a bike.

Mr Beattie also said the teachers at the school wanted to encourage pupils to do something they don’t do outside school and that some of the pupils did not have access to bikes or scooters outside school hours.

“I just thought the Big Pedal would be a really good way to encourage cycling,” he added.

“They will do it for two weeks then hopefully they will keep it going afterwards.”

Ebony Wilden, nine, said: “It is fun because it gets me ready for the day and happy and also it gets all the sleep out of me.”

Lauren Winder, nine, added: “I have been scooting in because I only live around the corner. It is really fun because it gets me all ready for school.”

The Big Pedal has been organised by transport charity Sustrans with support from Cumbria County Council’s active travel team.

Keith Little, the county council’s cabinet member for transport, said: “I’m delighted so many schools are taking part in this year’s Big Pedal challenge, which is a great way to encourage everyone to think about alternative ways of travelling to school.”

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