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Bike It – Sustrans school cycling

Bike It is a hugely successful project that encourages children to cycle to school.  The local Bike It office Jim Imeson has written the piece below about his work in BaNES.

There are 22 Sustrans Bike It schools in Bath and North East Somerset and since I began working as a Bike It officer at these schools three years ago, the percentage of pupils who regularly cycle to schools has increased form an average of 7% to 28%. Bike It is a Sustrans project funded by the Traffic Safety Team at B&NES Council and NHS B&NES which aims to promote a healthy, active and sustainable lifestyle to our young people. I work with Bike It schools to run cycling and scooting events like skills training in playgrounds, organising Bike Buses to school, setting up Bike Breakfasts and teaching maintenance skills. I work closely with parents and staff to help transition towards a positive cycling culture at each of my schools which are a mixture of primary and Junior schools like St Michael’s in Twerton, Newbridge, St John’s in Oldfield Park, St Philip’s and St Martin’s Garden in Odd Down and secondary schools including Beechen Cliff, Wellsway and Three Ways special school. I have teamed up with my Council colleague Chris Revill in Play Services to assist him running Wheels for All which is an amazing scheme to allow all children and adults, regardless of their needs, to the experience the thrill of cycling by using the Council’s fleet of adapted cycles.

Sometimes all a school needs is a bit of a kick start, Sustrans worked with the Council to fund a huge bike shelter for Beechen Cliff and now this is often overflowing with bikes! Beechen Cliff are offering their students Level 3 Bikeability training which is funded by the Council. This is advanced cycle training provided by Cycling Instructor and it equips our young people with the skills and confidence to cycle safely and it helps reassure parents which is very important. The Spring and Summer terms are really busy with me and I’ll be running events everyday with my schools such as a Newbridge year 5 bike ride to Bitton and back, BMX coaching for girls at Wellsway and the really exciting Sustrans national virtual bike race with ten or so of my schools representing B&NES this year: