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County schoolchildren make Big Pedal 2021 a huge success


More than 20 schools across Gloucestershire got active to take part in the Big Pedal 2021.


The event, which was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, made a welcome return from 19 to 30 April with bigger numbers than before.

Organised by walking and cycling charity Sustrans, it is the UK’s largest inter-school cycling, walking, wheeling and scooting challenge and aims to encourage active travel to and from school.

Gloucestershire County Council’s Thinktravel team helped to promote the scheme by encouraging schools to take part, in line with the council’s climate change and air quality strategies which aim to increase walking and cycling in the county. The council is also investing in extra infrastructure and projects to enable this aim, including the proposed Gloucester to Cheltenham cycleway and the School Streets initiative.

Twenty-four schools in Gloucestershire took part, completing more than 45,000 active journeys – including over 9,000 on bike or scooter. This is a 56 per cent increase compared to the Big Pedal 2019, when 15 schools took part, logging a total of 28,822 journeys.

On each day of the challenge, schools competed to see who could record the greatest number of their pupils, staff and parents cycling, walking, scooting or using a wheelchair to school.

A school’s best five days determined their final position, but they could choose to take part in a one-day challenge instead if they wanted.

The winners were:

  • 1 day challenge – Tredington Community Primary School in Tewkesbury
  • Small primary 5 day challenge – Brimscombe C of E Primary School in Stroud
  • Large primary 5 day challenge – Charlton Kings Junior School in Cheltenham

The challenge aimed to promote the benefits of active travel to school and this year’s theme was amazing journeys.

Philip Williams, lead commissioner for community infrastructure at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “I’m delighted so many schools in our county took part in the Big Pedal and completed so many active journeys. Active travel is a great way to boost children’s physical health as well as mental health and wellbeing, while raising awareness of road safety and reducing congestion.

“I hope children and parents enjoyed the challenge and will carry on walking, cycling and scooting to school this summer.”

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