Bradford School leads the way to become Bike Friendly

CityConnect helps Bradford school pupils travel safely and sustainably

Fagley Primary is the first school in West Yorkshire to receive new cycle storage through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme, joining more than 1,198 young people from schools across Bradford to benefit from the Authority’s Bike Friendly Schools initiative.

Fagley Primary is less than a quarter of a mile from the 14km Cycle Superhighway between Bradford and Leeds, which provides a safe, easy route for pupils to cycle to school. The school is well on its way to becoming a CityConnect-accredited Bike Friendly School, with pupils taking part in cycle training and developing their bike skills as well as the new secure cycle shelter, which provides space for an extra 22 bikes. Funded from the CityConnect programme, the shelter has been available since the start of the autumn half term, and is already proving popular with pupils, filling up every day.

Fagley Primary School pupils have already been learning how to put their new cycle training skills into use, with over 30 Year 6 pupils taking part in a session helping them to cycle to their secondary school in October of this year. The school also got involved in the national Cycle City Active City conference held in Bradford in May of this year, with 20 pupils riding the Cycle Superhighway into the centre of Bradford to take part in a British Cycling skills session.

Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority said:

“There are many benefits of cycling to school and I’m delighted that the West Yorkshire Combined Authority is helping children across the region cycle safely and securely. Having a safe route to ride to school and providing training to help students get the most out of their bikes will give more young people, and their parents, the confidence to incorporate cycling into their everyday routine.

“It’s fantastic to see how enthusiastically teachers and pupils at Fagley Primary, and other schools across Bradford, are working towards their Bike Friendly School status. I’m so pleased that the CityConnect team have been able to help the school and its pupils enjoy the enormous benefits of cycling, including funding this new shelter.

“Through additional training, better facilities and improved access to bikes, becoming a Bike Friendly School will ensure that every pupil will be given the opportunity to cycle. I hope many more schools across West Yorkshire will take advantage of these opportunities by getting in touch with our CityConnect team.”

Encouraging cycling to school brings many benefits to pupils and parents. Recent research by Strathclyde and Dundee Universities has shown how daily physical exercise such as cycling to school can improve academic performance. More children cycling also means fewer cars on the school run, decreasing congestion and parking problems around schools, as well as helping to improve the local air quality.

Other schools in Bradford taking part in the Bike Friendly Schools scheme include Byron Primary, Dixons City Academy, Barkerend Primary, Thornbury Primary and Dixons Marchbank Primary School. 1,198 pupils have benefited from activity across these schools, from basic Balancability sessions to making the first journey to secondary school. Thornbury and Byron Primary have also received funded bike parking through the CityConnect scheme.

The aim of the Bike Friendly Schools scheme is to ensure every pupil near the superhighway can access cycling. Only one in five children will have access to a bike at home in some sections of the route, which means many never learn to cycle and therefore can’t take part in the national BikeAbility program run by Bradford council, which introduces nine to eleven year-old children to riding on the roads. The Bike Friendly School scheme also provides schools with a loan of a fleet of bikes to help improve access to bikes.

Claire Greenwood from Fagley Primary Said:

'We really care and want our children to be successful in all aspects of life, in order to be confident, independent, collaborative and resilient learners in the ever changing society of today.

Opportunities like this provided by CityConnect contribute to the new learning experience of the children at Fagley.

The new cycle storage is a brilliant new addition to the school playground. Thank you CityConnect for our cycling training and cycle storage.'

If your school is near the CityConnect Cycle Superhighway and you would like to see it become more Bike Friendly, please encourage them to apply for the scheme through the CityConnect website cyclecityconnect.co.uk/get-active/working-with-schools