On your bikes for the Big Pedal

7:00pm Monday 18th February 2013

CHILDREN, parents and teachers are hoping to pedal their way to success when they take part in a competition.

Twelve schools across the town are taking part in Sustrans’ Big Pedal competition, which asks everyone to leave their cars at home and jump on their bikes and scooters for the school run between February 28 and March 20.

Oakhurst Primary School won their category last year and are hoping for success when they take part again this year.

Sharon Brentnall, Bike It officer for Swindon, said: “Our schools are really excited to be joining in The Big Pedal again.

“Last year, Oakhurst Primary School won their category, with two other schools in the borough also in the top 20.

“With such great effort last year, we know that Swindon schools can continue to keep it up and do fantastically well again.

“With one in five cars on the road during the morning peak being on the school run, encouraging our children to walk, cycle and scoot is great fun, healthy, and reduces congestion and pollution around the school gates too.”

The Big Pedal is the UK’s biggest school cycling competition to get kids active. It is powered by Sustrans, the UK’s leading sustainable transport charity and pioneer of the National Cycle Network.

Pupils will also be raising money for Sustrans on February 28 with a Superheroes Day, when pupils will donate £1 to Sustrans to dress up as their favourite Superhero.

School signed up so far include: Catherine Wayte Primary School, East Wichel Community Primary School and Nursery, Eldene Primary School, Haydon Wick Primary School, Haydonleigh Primary School, Millbrook Primary School, Oakhurst Community Primary School, Orchid Vale Primary School, Peatmoor Community Primary School, Red Oaks Primary School, St Francis CofE Primary School, and Westlea Primary School.

Last year more than 950 schools from all over the country took part in the event .

The combined efforts of the children totalled 1,140,075 miles, saving 59,021 gallons of fuel and £368,484.

Malcolm Shepherd, Sustrans chief executive, said, “The average primary school journey is just 1.5 miles – the perfect distance to walk or cycle.

“Every year The Big Pedal helps tens of thousands of families rediscover the fun and freedom of cycling to school, getting fit and saving money at the same time.

“Evidence shows how children that cycle to school regularly are more active and better learners – it’s time for us all to get on our bikes.”

Schools have until February 27 to register for The Big Pedal at http://bigpedal.org.uk.

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