Final stage of Schools Yorkshire Tour sees pupils demonstrate pedal power on new section of cycle superhighway

Leeds school children are proving it really is as easy as riding a bike as they pedal along a new section of cycle superhighway during the final stage of the Schools Yorkshire Tour today (Tuesday 3 July 2018).

Now in its second year, the tour is a 400-mile baton cycling relay which has made its way through the county over the past month, arriving in West Yorkshire on Wednesday 20 June.

Involving 160 schools, the Schools Yorkshire Tour has been developed by twelve local authorities in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s £60m CityConnect programme, which works with local councils and others to encourage people to travel by bike or on foot, and UK cycling and walking charity Sustrans.

Today the CityConnect team is accompanying pupils – including children from two of its Bike Friendly Schools, St Theresa’s and Manston - on a new cycle route protected from traffic between Seacroft and the city centre.

This is the latest section of the Bradford Leeds Cycle Superhighway to be completed as part of the CityConnect programme.

A number of schools taking part in the tour have benefitted from CityConnect’s Bike Friendly Schools scheme, which provides cycle training for pupils and staff, alongside led rides and improved bike storage.

Through the scheme more than 2,000 pupils have benefitted from cycle training, learn to ride sessions and transition rides for students to learn the route to secondary school.

Ben Taylor, teacher at Manston Primary School, said: “Taking part in this year’s Schools Yorkshire Tour is a great opportunity to get our pupils cycling and our continued involvement with CityConnect as a Bike Friendly School demonstrates how important this is to us.

“From boosting physical activity to instilling good travel habits that last a life time, we know encouraging more of our pupils to cycle and walk to school brings real benefits.”

At about 11.30am today the final schools are expected to arrive at Millennium Square, Leeds, where pupils representing all 12 local authorities will be gathering for a celebratory event.

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, will be in attendance.

She said: “Instilling a love of cycling in children from a young age has long-lasting benefits, encouraging independent travel as a teenager and creating good habits for an active adult life.

“Through our CityConnect programme, the Combined Authority is working in partnership to make cycling and walking a viable option for all residents - regardless of age or ability – by delivering new and improved infrastructure, such as the Cycle Superhighway, and through initiatives such as our Bike Friendly Schools scheme.

“From tackling physical inactivity and obesity to reducing congestion on our roads and improving air quality – more people travelling by bike or on foot benefits us all.”

Find out how CityConnect can help you, your family, business, school or community cycle more.