Pupils cycle, scoot and walk their way to the summer holidays

Pupils at St Augustine’s School, Scarborough, are being encouraged to cycle, scoot or walk to school in the last two weeks of term before the summer break.

Children walk to St Augustine’s School on the first day of the scheme

The school has linked up with North Yorkshire County Council’s sustainable travel team’s Open Scarborough project, which is helping people to replace car journeys where possible with walking, cycling or using public transport.

Each time a pupil arrives at school on foot, by bike or scooter between now and the end of term they can collect a raffle ticket for a draw to win a Fitbit provided by the travel team.

There will also be free walking and cycling gear and a free breakfast on one day for those who take part and a certificate for those who do so on all ten days, as well as free Bikeability cycle training from the county council’s road safety team and bike security marking by the police.

Teacher Chris Goode, who is also a keen cyclist, said: “We recently opened a new cycle shed that we have wanted for two years and held a cycle challenge to celebrate that. There was a lot of enthusiasm from the youngsters, so we were keen to be involved in the Open Scarborough project. Having a Fitbit as a prize will help to motivate the students.

“There are a wide range of benefits to cycling, scooting or walking to school: greater independence, improved health, better air quality and less congestion on the roads.

“We are also trying to get people who do come by car to drop their children off further away from the school, which means the air quality will be better around the school. We think this is a great initiative and really appreciate the support of the county council.”

County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said: “We’re really pleased that St Augustine’s have been so supportive in promoting active travel, and its benefits, to their students. Our sustainable travel team would be happy to advise other secondary schools on ways to increase active travel and reduce car usage.

“We would also encourage all schools in North Yorkshire to sign up to Modeshift STARS. This is a free platform that recognises excellence in promoting active and sustainable travel and offers ideas and inspiration to reduce congestion, improve road safety and help the environment.”

This story was published 9 July 2019