TO SUPPORT the full reopening of schools, BCP Council is stepping up its campaign to get more parents, carers and young people to walk, cycle or scoot to the school gates.

Last year, under their campaign focusing on the concept of ‘the new you’ after lockdown, the council launched a dedicated active journey to school initiative.

This project sought to build on the positive behaviours seen during the pandemic and remind people to continue to be more active and embrace a healthier but slower pace of life on the way to school.

Councillor Mike Greene, Portfolio Holder for Transport and Sustainability, said: “With the new year and the reopening of schools and colleges, it’s time for the new you to re-think your traditional journeys and maintain some of the active behaviours that have been so beneficial during lockdown.

“With half of all school journey’s being two miles or less, we encourage everyone who can walk, cycle or scoot to give it a try this spring. The health benefits of regular exercise and fresh air are well known.

“It can also help your little ones to get their 60 minutes of recommended exercise a day and contributes towards a healthier community for all.”

As part of this campaign and to encourage an increased uptake of cycling, a Sustrans Bike-It Plus Officer has been appointed to work initially with twelve local schools and engage directly with pupils, parents, and the wider school community.

The post will be funded through a government grant.

In addition, Dr Bike cycle maintenance and upkeep sessions will be starting this month at Moordown St John’s and Muscliff Primary school, with proposals to extend this offer to more schools in the future.

For those living further afield who need to use buses to get to school, also with government support, the council has commissioned 34 additional bus services.

These ensure that sufficient space is available on the main bus network for other passengers including key workers.

Parents are advised that face coverings remain mandatory on public and dedicated school transport for over 11’s unless exempt.

If it is essential to travel by car, people are also encouraged to consider parking and striding, the concept of leaving the car further away from school and walking for at least part of the journey.

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