Leeds pupils get cycling and embrace Le Tour spirit

St.Chad's Church of England Primary School pupils getting involved in the Big Pedal 2014 through a superhero day
St.Chad's Church of England Primary School pupils getting involved in the Big Pedal 2014 through a superhero day
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Hundreds of pedal-powered pupils have taken to two wheels as we bid to get Yorkshire cycling.

Young students across Leeds and Wakefield have been riding the school run as we continue to encourage readers to embrace the growing cycling spirit in the region ahead of the July arrival of the Tour de France.

Through our Let’s Get Cycling campaign we are encouraging residents, schools and businesses to make the most of Le Tour’s historic visit by taking to their bikes and sharing their pictures and stories with us to help get others cycling.

In line with our cycling push, youngsters have been getting involved with the Big Pedal, organised by transport charity Sustrans, which urged communities across the UK to cycle or scoot the school run from March 3 to 14.

Joanne Pitchfork, office manager at Green Lane Primary Academy, in Garforth, claims more than half of its 400 pupils have been cycling or scooting to school over the last fortnight.

“The children have been coming to school more enthusiastic – they’re more alert and ready to learn,” she said.

“A lot of families are coming in on bikes and scooters as well. Riding to school together in the morning has become a family thing here.”

She said the school, like many others, is working with Sustrans to try to sustain the positive impact of the last two weeks.

The Big Pedal is an inter-school competition encouraging families to cycle or scoot the school run in a bid to boost health and the environment.

Kippax Greenfield Primary, Bramhope Primary, Yeadon Westfield Junior, St Chad’s CofE Primary, West End Academy and East Garforth Primary Academy are among 1,500 UK schools to take part in this year’s event.

More than 10,000 two-wheeled journeys were clocked up by Leeds schools during the Big Pedal 2014.

Emma Peasland, Sustrans’ smarter choices co-ordinator for Yorkshire, said: “The arrival of the Tour is the perfect opportunity for everyone to get into the spirit, embrace cycling and get out and about on two wheels.”

Coun Judith Blake, Leeds City Council’s lead member for children’s services, added: “It is fantastic to see young people getting the chance to get active and feel the benefit.”

The Sustrans initiative coincides with the YEP’s Let’s Get Cycling push to ensure Leeds and wider Yorkshire benefits from a last cycling legacy following this summer’s Tour de France.

We hope to help change the fact that only 13 per cent of people in Yorkshire and The Humber cycle at least monthly.


We want you to send us your cycling stories and pictures ahead of the Tour de France.

Whether you’re telling us about teaching your children to cycle or sending us pictures of your first bike ride in years, we would love to hear from you.

You can tweet pictures and comments to our @leedsnews Twitter handle using the hashtag #tdfyorks or post them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/yep.newspaper. You can also contact our Le Tour reporter Jonathan Brown. Email jonathan.brown@ypn.co.uk, tweet @jonnybrownyep or call 0113 2388134.

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