South Yorkshire schools get on their bikes

Children from Anston Greenland Junior and Infants in Rotherham dressed up in onesies for a fancy dress day to mark the Big Pedal.
Children from Anston Greenland Junior and Infants in Rotherham dressed up in onesies for a fancy dress day to mark the Big Pedal.
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PEDAL power has proven two wheels are better than none for schoolchildren in South Yorkshire.

Youngsters from across Sheffield and Rotherham have been getting on their bikes for the Big Pedal, which encourages children to adopt a healthier, eco-friendly mode of transport.

The three-week-long competition is organised by national charity Sustrans.

Every journey by scooter or cycle by pupils powers a school round a virtual race and schools which rack up the most mileage win prizes.

This year there are 15 primary and secondary schools taking part in the project in Sheffield, along with Anston Greenland Junior and Infants, Dalton Listerdale and Herringthorpe junior schools in Rotherham.

In Sheffield, Dobcroft Junior is top but there is still time for others to gain an edge before the March 20 deadline.

Tom Newman, Bike It officer for Sheffield Council, said: “We’ve seen a massive increase in the number of children travelling to school by bike.”

All the journeys to the school count, so even if it’s mums and dads going with their children or brothers and sisters dropping them off before they go on to another school they can support the effort.

“We go out and give assemblies on why cycling is good and how you can be safe when riding a bike.”

Around half of schoolchildren in South Yorkshire say they would like to travel to school by bike, but only four per cent do.

Anne Jones, headteacher at Anston Greenland, said: “About 35 per cent of our pupils are cycling or scooting to school for the Big Pedal.”