Fairfield Park school victorious in cycling and scooting challenge

Fairfield Park Lower School are celebrating winning the Big Pedal competition. Picture: Gary Ridley

Fairfield Park Lower School are celebrating winning the Big Pedal competition. Picture: Gary Ridley - Credit: Archant

Fairfield Park Lower School has beaten more than 1,600 others from across the country to win the Big Pedal competition – designed to encourage more pupils to cycle or scoot in each morning.

Fairfield Park Lower School recorded 3,460 active journeys during the fortnight-long challenge between April 23 and May 4.

Alister Barclay from organisers Sustrans presented the award during a special celebration assembly.

Alister said: “The school and community always get behind this challenge.

“I’m really pleased that their efforts have been rewarded with this first place.

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“The network of safe, off-road routes connecting Fairfield Park to Arlesey, Stotfold and Letchworth clearly supports pupils and their families, and would have a massive impact if replicated elsewhere.”

Designed to get more children travelling on bicycles or scooters, each day of the challenge saw schools compete to record the highest number of pupils, staff and parents scooting or cycling.

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Central Bedfordshire had 38 schools taking part in the challenge, clocking up 90,000 hours between them.

Moggerhanger Lower School and Arlesey’s Gothic Mede Lower School and Etonbury Academy placed in the top 100.

The Sustrans charity aim is to make it easier for people to walk and cycle to school.

Councillor Nigel Young, Central Beds Council’s executive member for regeneration, praised Sustran’s Big Pedal challenge.

“The number of children walking and cycling to school is on the decline, with the number of children being driven to their primary school increasing each year,” he said.

“Yet the standard primary school journey is just 1.6 miles – the perfect distance to cycle, scooter or walk.

“The Big Pedal has been a great way for families to think about ways of getting to school without using the car. As well as being fun, the competition promotes active travel, healthy lifestyles and road awareness.”

In a survey of six to 15-year-old school pupils in the East of England, 32 per cent were concerned about poor air quality.

The same number believed that encouraging more people to cycle, scoot or walk to school would be the best way to help to reduce levels of air pollution.

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