Schoolchildren throughout Central Bedfordshire recorded all-time record figures for scooting and cycling to school during this year’s Big Pedal, which took place between April 18 and 29 – but how did your child’s school fare?
Throughout Bedfordshire, pupils at participating schools racked up almost 55,000 bike and scooter journeys during two weeks of the challenge, with schools from Central Bedfordshire contributing 55% of this total (30,000 journeys). The Big Pedal is an annual national challenge organised by charity Sustrans which aims to get more children active.
Nationally, Etonbury Academy in Arlesey came 2nd in the secondary school five day challenge, with over 65% of the school roll cycling or scooting during the challenge. On many days, there were nearly 300 bikes in the bike sheds.
Fairfield Park Lower School, who came 7th in the primary school five day challenge, had every child in the school come to school on a bike or scooter on Thursday 28th April.
Hadrian Academy in Dunstable achieved 63% of pupils scooting and cycling over the five-day primary school challenge. Brewers Hill, also in Dunstable, achieved 55%. Beecroft Academy in Dunstable and St Andrews Lower in Biggleswade achieved almost 40%, both getting over 100 bikes and scooters daily throughout the challenge.
First time participants in the Big Pedal, including Clipstone Brook Lower and Leedon Lower in Leighton Buzzard, and Maple Tree Lower and Robert Peel Lower in Sandy, achieved between 25% and 40% of pupils cycling and scooting regularly. Two years ago, these figures would have seen them top of the table for Central Bedfordshire.
As a celebration of the schools’ achievements this year, Danny Butler, a professional trials rider, will be bringing his Extreme MTB stunt show to schools to help encourage them to keep on cycling and scooting throughout the summer term.
The Big Pedal is now the UK’s largest inter-school cycling and scooting challenge, and is funded by the Bicycle Association on behalf of the cycle industry through its Bike Hub scheme. Nationally, 1,600 schools and 500,000 schoolchildren took part, completing 1,200,000 journeys. Over 80% of Central Bedfordshire schools finished in the top half nationally.
Thanks to funding from the public health team at Central Bedfordshire Council, Sustrans is now working intensively with a number of schools, running events and activities helping pupils make healthy journeys to and from school.
Alister Barclay, Schools & Communities Officer for Sustrans in Central Bedfordshire, said: “All the schools did fantastically well, especially considering that we had sleet and snow during the Big Pedal. It is great to see that the kids are keeping up with scooting and cycling even though the challenge has ended.
“When I visited Biggleswade Academy last week, I counted over 100 bikes and scooters, then I went to St Andrews and there were even more! If the children can keep it up through the summer term, this can have a real impact on congestion at the school gate, as well as on the health and performance of the pupils that choose to travel actively.”
To find out more about the Big Pedal go to: www.bigpedal.org.uk
Schools in Central Bedfordshire by % scooting and cycling during Big Pedal
1 Fairfield Park Lower School 94.81
2 Etonbury Academy 65.68
3 Hadrian Academy 62.88
4 Moggerhanger Lower School 58.46
5 Brewers Hill Middle School 54.58
6 Beecroft Academy 39.46
7 St Andrew’s CofE VC Lower School 39.2
8 Maple Tree Lower School 38.78
9 Watling Lower School 35.7
10 Greenleas School 35.63
11 Robert Peel Lower School 35.32
12 Leedon Lower School 34.07
13 Priory Academy 33.07
14 Houghton Regis Primary School 30.13
15 Dunstable Icknield Lower School 29.93
16 Toddington St George Lower School 29.16
17 Caddington Village School 26.55
18 Clipstone Brook Lower School 26.46
19 Biggleswade Academy 23.7
20 Lark Rise Academy 23
21 Lawnside Lower School 20.63
22 Barnfield Vale Academy 19.43
23 Hawthorn Park Lower School 18.96
24 St Vincent’s Catholic Primary School 18.06
25 All Saints Academy Dunstable 13.38
26 Gilbert Inglefield Academy 6.22
27 Manshead CofE VA Upper School 4.99
Schools in Central Bedfordshire by recorded journeys during Big Pedal
1 Fairfield Park Lower School 3461
2 Etonbury Academy 3218
3 Greenleas School 2322
4 Priory Academy 2206
5 St Andrew’s CofE VC Lower School 1981
6 Hadrian Academy 1946
7 Beecroft Academy 1628
8 Caddington Village School 1102
9 Leedon Lower School 1051
10 Robert Peel Lower School 1007
11 Toddington St George Lower School 966
12 Biggleswade Academy 956
13 Houghton Regis Primary School 893
14 Maple Tree Lower School 814
15 Dunstable Icknield Lower School 786
16 Hawthorn Park Lower School 767
17 Manshead CofE VA Upper School 699
18 All Saints Academy Dunstable 672
19 Watling Lower School 640
20 Clipstone Brook Lower School 617
21 Lark Rise Academy 454
22 Brewers Hill Middle School 407
23 Barnfield Vale Academy 382
24 St Vincent’s Catholic Primary School 341
25 Moggerhanger Lower School 209
26 Gilbert Inglefield Academy 186
27 Lawnside Lower School 59