A road safety team carried the baton for bicycles recently, as part of a region-wide bike relay to encourage more young people to take up cycling.

Members of the Road Safety and Travel Awareness team with Cllr David Jeffels and mascot Spike the Hedgehog at the start of the North Yorkshire leg of the tour

The Schools’ Yorkshire Tour encourages young people to take up the sport in a bid to increase the number of pupils cycling safely to school and to promote an active lifestyle, as well as improve air quality and reduce congestion outside schools.

The Tour has been developed by 11 local authorities, including North Yorkshire County Council’s via its Road Safety and Travel Awareness team and supported by various partners. A baton is passed between schools across the council areas by teams of cyclists. 

Members of North Yorkshire’s road safety team collected the baton in York on Monday, 10 June and travelled along parts of the North Yorkshire coast on Tuesday, 11 June, passing local schools on the way.

Mandy Pepworth Road Safety and Travel Awareness Officer said: “It is fantastic that again we have been able to be part of this wonderful event here in Scarborough. 

“Sadly, due the amber weather warnings we could not let the children join us. However our wonderful team wanted to keep the baton going.”

The route began in Burniston, following the Cinder Track to Gladstone Road School, where the baton was welcomed by pupils, the Mayor of Scarborough, Councillor Hazel Lynskey, Scarborough town crier David Birdsall and road safety mascot Spike the Hedgehog.

It was then taken on a train to Leeds in time for Day 3.

County Councillor David Jeffels, who started the Scarborough cyclists’ section of the route at Burniston, said: "It is good to see an increasing number of cyclists on the county's roads, which has been one of the big benefits of the Tour de France and Tour de Yorkshire.

“The activity is encouraging more people from children and pensioners to keep fit and healthy.

“The highways department has created many cycle routes throughout the county's roads, and ideally, we hope to see the creation of more dedicated safe cycleways which would benefit facilities for the sport and hopefully encourage more people to take it up."

The relay passes through Leeds, Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Wakefield, Barnsley, Sheffield and Rotherham before ending in a celebration in Doncaster on 2 July.

County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said with North Yorkshire’s reputation for staging top-class cycling events and the growing interest sparked in cycling, it was important young people knew how to take part in the activity safely.

County Councillor Caroline Dickinson, Executive Member for Public Health, added: “Encouraging young people to be active supports our Healthy Child objective to give all children the best possible start in life, so it is wonderful to see schools taking part in an event that demonstrates so clearly how cycling can become an enjoyable and healthy part of their lives.”

This story was published 20 June 2019