The school travel toolkit was developed to help your school promote walking, cycling and other forms of sustainable travel. The intended audience is teachers, parents and other responsible members of a school community, who can then share and discuss the ideas contained with both primary and secondary pupils.
Top tips for promoting cycling in school
While every school is different, schools can start with easy to do initiatives, such as promoting a “one-day-a-week” initiative such as Walk or Cycle on Wednesday. Then as your school builds confidence and capacity you can take on more of the ideas listed.
- Cycle training – A good way for children to become an experienced and confident cyclist is to take part in a bikeability cycle training course. This will allow children to practice their cycling skills away from traffic, before venturing into quiet traffic situations. Cycle training can take place during or after class time depending on your school’s situation.
- Raise awareness – You could have a poster competition in your school or community to promote safe cycling to school. Or, ask the children to design posters for events.
- Identify safe routes for cycling using a local cycle map – You could also ask the children to create a map of the area showing local cycling routes and cycle parking locations. Ask your local library or sports centre to display the winning entries.
- Revamp or provide secure cycle storage and parking – If children or teachers are going to cycle to school they will need somewhere safe and secure to leave their bicycle. Schools should ensure cycle parking is suitable for the bicycles in question and that it is in a suitable place for cyclists to use, for example, parking where cyclists can lock their bike frames (not the wheels), near entrances, covered, well lit with people passing by. Publicise your cycle parking. If people don’t know where it is, then it will not be used. Get in touch to find out more about possible funding sources for cycle parking.
- Create an incentive – Sometimes it is a good idea to offer an award as this will create an incentive. Award a ‘Cyclist of the Month’ by giving them a prize for cycling the most often or the furthest. You could reward children who cycle to school by offering them a free healthy breakfast or a refreshing smoothie for each day they cycle during a dedicated week. A bicycle lottery could be another incentive. Give a raffle ticket away to an individual every time they cycle. The more they cycle the more tickets they get, thus increasing their chances of winning.
- Dr Bike – Hold a Dr bike cycle safety check up event. Lots of bicycles lie at the bottom of the garden rusting away or in the shed because they have a flat tyre. Why not organise a bike mechanic to deliver a workshop for your school to get those bikes back in shape? Contact a local cycling enthusiast or bike shop mechanic to deliver a workshop.
- Cycle Champion – You will need to get someone to oversee all the organising and administering of any cycling event taking place. Therefore it would be a good idea to select a Cycle Champion to do this for you. This person should enjoy cycling, be friendly and well organised. Having a Cycle Champion will ensure that events run smoothly and it will also provide a contact if dealing with funding applications for cycle training or parking in your school.
- Provide showers, lockers and changing facilities – Get in touch to find out more about possible funding sources.