THE TOUR De France has inspired families at one Leeds primary to gets on their bikes for the school run.
Youngsters at Moor Allerton Hall Primary are enjoying keeping fit as more families than ever before are using bikes or scooters to get to school and ditching the car where possible.
The Friends of Moor Allerton Hall, the primary school’s Parent Teachers Association, raised £3,000 to install a new bike and scooter park in the school grounds.
Following requests from parents, the school has been working towards creating the facility to encourage more families to reduce their car use when travelling to school and to promote pupil fitness.
Headteacher Lesley McKay said: “Sixty per cent of our families use their car as the main transport to school and parking causes, which is a big problem in the area locally.
“We want to encourage families to use alternative transport and use the opportunity to get more exercise.
“Our PTA have been fantastic in raising the money through two school fairs and a dance. Now travelling to school can be great fun and it has come at the right time for all the budding Tour de France winners.”
This year 75 Leeds primary schools and six secondary schools signed up for Leeds City Council’s annual Walk to School week in May when almost 26,000 pupils took part.
Most schools have a travel plan and many use a walking bus.
Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services, said: “Walking to school regularly is not only a fantastic way to encourage an active lifestyle, it is also a great opportunity to teach children vital road safety skills and ensure they are alert and ready to learn at the start of the day.”
A recent evaluation of school travel plans by the Department for Transport identified a variety of benefits including increased road safety, healthier, more alert and engaged pupils, reduced pollution and congestion and increasingly independent travel for pupils with special educational needs.
Living Streets, the national charity that stands up for pedestrians, reaches more than 1.9 million children each year.