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Local students jump on their bikes for Cycle to School Week

Over 200 West Exe children use pedal power to get to school every day

Students and staff at West Exe School, part of the Ted Wragg Trust, are celebrating Cycle to School Week, which runs from the 25th to the 29th of September this year. Over 200 children cycle to the school everyday and they also have a very active staffing body, many of whom choose to beat the traffic and ride in daily.

Organised by the Bikeability Trust, and supported by the charity Sustrans, Cycle to School week aims to encourage both parents and children to jump on their bikes and celebrate the benefits of doing the school run this way.  Participants are encouraged to swap one car journey for cycling, cycle to school every day, cycle with their family or discover somewhere new on a cycle ride. 

More than 100,000 children in Devon have now received Bikeability cycle training.  Bikeability is the government's national cycle training programme and children learn both practical skills and how to cycle safely on roads.  A student at West Exe School, Beatrice Stothert was actually the

100,000th Bikeability trainee in Devon and to celebrate she was presented with a certificate and a bicycle by Councillor Stuart Hughes, the Cabinet Member with responsibility for cycling, earlier this year.

Two other students at the school, Lucas and Evie, are currently training for the World BMX Championships and earlier this year both of them took 1st place in the South West Regional in Bideford (Male 14s and Female Regional Elite, respectively.

According to Cycling UK, on average just 2.2% of children cycle to school and 35.4% are driven, they estimate that if just one child cycled to school instead of travelling by car for a year, it would save almost half a tonne in carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to growing eight trees for a decade or charging 58,388 mobile phones.

Julie Fossey, Headteacher at West Exe School said:

Staff and students at West Exe are very happy to celebrate the benefits of cycling this Cycle to School Week.  An active school run can have a hugely positive impact in a range of ways, from improving health and wellbeing, to helping to reduce air pollution.

“ I am delighted that so many of our students make the choice to cycle in everyday and we will continue to support others to complete the training needed to feel safe and confident cycling to school.”

Moira Marder, CEO of the Ted Wragg Multi-Academy Trust said:

“It’s fantastic to hear that so many staff and students at West Exe are choosing to forgo a car journey and cycle into school.  Journeying to school this way is both an excellent opportunity to be active and a way to gain independence and I hope we can support even more students to cycle into school in the future!”