23 Oct 2017

Pedal power to pupils

Hundreds of Isle of Wight schoolchildren are to get further expert training in travelling actively to and from school over the next three years from Island based Wight Cycle.

The Isle of Wight Council has awarded a contract to Wight Cycle to deliver a sustainable travel education programme involving:

• a diverse range of active travel activities, which will be available to all Island schools under the project name of ‘Shift It’,covering cycling, scooting and walking;
• a focus on transition between primary and secondary education, and secondary and further education;
• a new and exciting digital ‘travel to school’ monitoring solution, available from spring 2018.

Wight Cycle, in partnership with the council, is delivering this project as part of the Access Fund for Sustainable Travel - a £1.3 million three year sustainable transport programme which was competitively bid for and is funded by the Department for Transport.

This will build on the good work over the last two years, which has seen cycling to school increase by 1.3 per cent, scooting/skating to school increase by three per cent and car journeys to school decrease by 5.2 per cent.

Cabinet member for infrastructure and transport, Councillor Ian Ward, said: “I’m delighted that we can continue to encourage sustainable travel in our schools and other educational establishments and ensure that young people are embracing the many benefits of active travel. Daily exercise has many immediate benefits as well – they include improved bone strength, muscle tone, healthier joints, increased alertness and improved academic performance.

“Wight Cycle will build on the great strides that have already been made on the Island under our previous sustainable transport education projects, in our aim to place the Isle of Wight as a centre of excellence promoting active travel, as shown by our successful bid for further Department for Transport funding support up to 2020.”

Managing director of Wight Cycle, John Allen, said: “Wight Cycle Ltd is pleased to be introducing its training arm of the business. As part of this, we will be running an exciting, new school active and sustainable travel project called ‘Shift It’. The ‘Shift It’ project aims to increase the active journeys to and from school whilst decreasing the number of car journeys that families make on the school run. We will be focussing on all active and sustainable travel such as cycling, scooting, walking and skateboarding.”

Wight Cycle Ltd has a wealth of experience, including John Allen, who, as managing director of the company, has over a decade of experience of providing bike hire and cycling services on the island.

‘Shift It’ project manager, Ross Edmunds, said: “We have put together a great team with a wide range of experience in promoting and delivering active travel and look forward to seeing more children and their parents choosing a healthier and more sustainable travel choice for the school run.”

For more information on Wight Cycle, please call (01983) 761800, email: info@wightcycle.co.uk  or visit the website at www.wightcycle.co.uk 

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The Wight Cycle Training team
The Wight Cycle Training team
  • The programme will cover a diverse range of active travel activities, covering cycling, scooting and walking.
Isle of Wight, UK