Children in Cumbria completed 10,000 active journeys to school on foot, scooter or bicycle as part of the UK’s largest journey to school challenge.
During the competition, Cumbria schoolchildren were physically active – walking, cycling, wheeling and scooting to school, and completing physical activities – for a total of 2,200 hours.
Across the UK more than 480,000 children took part in the Big Pedal and school communities completed more than 3,400,000 active journeys to school and physical activities between April 19 and April 30.
This follows data released by Sport England earlier this year that suggests there was a decline in the physical activity levels of children due to the pandemic, with almost a third of children in England engaging in less than 30 minutes of daily physical activity in the 2019 – 2020 academic year.
If the children in Cumbria taking active journeys during Sustrans Big Pedal had travelled to school by car instead, this could have created 6,800 kilos of Co2 and 15kg of NOx. That’s enough to fill a hot air balloon with harmful Co2 emissions.
This follows a YouGov survey commissioned by Sustrans and published in April which showed:
- Just under half (49 per cent) of UK children worry about air pollution near their school.
- 40 per cent of UK children believe the best way to bring down levels of air pollution near their schools is for more people to walk, cycle or scoot to school.
Speaking about the results of the Big Pedal competition, Rosslyn Colderley, director for Sustrans in the north of England said: “It’s amazing to see how many journeys were made walking, wheeling, scooting and cycling in Cumbria during this year’s Big Pedal.
“To be able to make the Big Pedal happen once again despite the pandemic has been truly wonderful.
“The results of our recent YouGov survey highlight just how concerned children are about air pollution around their local area, and that we as adults should be doing more to make it easier for people to travel actively for everyday journeys such as the school run.
“Sustrans is calling for national and local governments to prioritise high-quality walking and cycling routes and to accelerate the rollout of school streets.”
For more information and a list of the overall winners visit https://bigpedal.org.uk/