St Augustine’s pupils put best feet forward on daily commute

The prize draw at St Augustine's School to promote, walking, cycling and scootering to school. Picture: Tony Bartholomew/Turnstone Media
The prize draw at St Augustine's School to promote, walking, cycling and scootering to school. Picture: Tony Bartholomew/Turnstone Media

Pupils at St Augustine’s have been getting fit and helping the environment by cycling, scooting or walking to school.

The school linked up with North Yorkshire County Council’s sustainable travel team’s Open Scarborough project, which is helping people to replace car journeys where possible with walking, cycling or using public transport.

The prize draw at St Augustine's School to promote, walking, cycling and scootering to school. Picture: Tony Bartholomew/Turnstone Media

The prize draw at St Augustine's School to promote, walking, cycling and scootering to school. Picture: Tony Bartholomew/Turnstone Media

Pupils were encouraged to travel to and from school on foot, by bicycle or by scooter. Each time they did so, they collected a raffle ticket for a draw to win a Fitbit provided by the travel team.

Participants were also given free walking and cycling gear. Free Bikeability cycle training was also offered by the county council’s road safety team along with bike security marking by the police.

All those who took part on all ten days received a certificate on the last day of term.

They were presented by Mayor of the Borough of Scarborough Cllr Hazel Lynskey, local County Councillor Liz Colling, local District Councillor Neil Robinson and former district councillor Dilys Cluer.

The draw for the Fitbit was won by Killian Mannan.

Teacher Chris Goode, who is also a keen cyclist, said the number of children cycling or scooting to school had almost doubled over the fortnight.

He said: “We recently opened a new cycle shed, but this week it was full and so was the supplementary cycle rack. Ideally, we need a further covered area. We would also like to create a scooting pod, so children can park their scooters safely.”

He said the project had been worthwhile and there were a wide range of benefits to cycling, scooting or walking to school rather than travelling by car, including greater independence, improved health, better air quality and less congestion.

“It has been fabulous with really good support from the county council. The children have really enjoyed it.”

County Councillor Don Mackenzie, executive member for access, said: “I’m delighted that the students have embraced this competition and commend the staff involved for their efforts.

“We hope that after seeing what St Augustine’s has achieved in a short time other schools will follow in their stride and think about what they can do to increase active travel on the school run.

“We look forward to seeing St Augustine’s finalise their work towards the Bronze Award accreditation through Modeshift STARS, which we would encourage all schools to sign up to.

“This is a free platform that recognises excellence in promoting active and sustainable travel and offers ideas for reducing congestion, improving road safety and helping the environment.”