Top marks for Plymouth’s Bike It Plus schools

The 2013/14 Bike It Plus results are in and Plymouth schools have increased regular cycling and scooting and reduced the number of children regularly driven to school.

Bike It Plus encourages children, parents and staff to travel actively to school through fun activities, safety advice and promotional events. The Plymouth programme is delivered by the City Council and Sustrans and started in 2012/13 with 10 primary and secondary schools. Twenty schools across the city are now signed up.

Councillor Mark Coker, Cabinet Member for Transport said: “We’re really pleased to be working with Sustrans on the delivery of Bike It Plus to a number of schools. Alongside our Bikeability programme, which is delivered in partnership with the Plymouth Schools Sports Partnership, Bike It Plus is ensuring that more children have the skills and confidence to get out and about by bike.”

In the 10 schools that have taken part in Bike It Plus for two years, regular cycling has increased from an average of 3.9 per cent to 14.4 per cent. There has also been an increase in the number of children scooting and skating to school, with more than 18 per cent of pupils doing this regularly.

What’s even more encouraging is that the number of pupils who are regularly driven to school has fallen from 42.8 per cent to 33.1 per cent after two years.

Councillor Philippa Davey, Plymouth’s Cycling Commissioner, added: “These results are a great credit to all the participating schools and the Sustrans Bike It Plus Officer who supports them. Since the programme was launched it has got children really enthused about walking, cycling and scooting to school and shown them how much fun it can be.”

All the schools that have been part of the Bike It Plus programme for at least one year are either working towards, or have achieved, the Bronze Sustrans School Mark. The mark is a major step towards delivering the Bike It Plus programme independently, allowing active travel to be embedded within the culture of the school.