CHILDREN in Swansea will be encouraged to get on a bike and cycle to school as part of a new campaign.
Millie Davies, a year 4/5 pupils in Penclawdd, entered a city-wide competition earlier in the year to design a bookmark which illustrates all the things a child might see and hear while on a bike but could miss seeing being in a car.
The competition has led to Millie being presented with a brand new bike by Swansea Council in partnership with Ian Davies Plant Ltd – a contractor that has assisted in creating new cycle routes throughout the city in recent years. The school has also benefited from Millie’s creative talents by receiving a supply of balance bikes and scooters which will be used at the school.
The brightly coloured design, created by Millie, will now feature on all the bookmarks.
In September, schools will be giving out free bookmarks to pupils that were designed by a pupil from Penclawdd Primary School.
Councillor Mark Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environment Enhancement and Infrastructure Management, helped present Millie with her new bike. He said: “Encouraging young people to get on a bike, not only helps keep them fit and healthy but provides them with an early understanding of how cycling can be a great way of travelling to and from a destination such as a school.
“Hopefully some will choose to use this method in the future to get to school rather than relying on parents to take them in the family car.
“We’ve already completed lots of schemes in recent years to create safe, off-road cycle routes, linking up community and providing excellent accessible routes for children to and from many local schools.”
Funding from the WG for road safety schemes is also set to be used to provide cycle and scooter lessons to schools in Swansea from September.
Amanda Howarth, a road safety officer in Swansea Council, said; “We want to make sure young children are confident and feel safe using a bike or a scooter – so we will be going into schools in the new term and giving children plenty of guidance so they can feel safe and learn a new skill.”
Sixteen kilometres of new cycle routes have been created in Swansea in the last two year using Welsh Government Active Travel funding.
Swansea Council has recently received confirmation of a further successful bid to the WG for more than £5million of Active Travel money which will be used to create even more cycle network across Swansea.
Cllr Thomas added: “The latest grant allocation illustrates our long term intentions to continue developing our cycle network and link up communities so that cycling can be seen as a serious option for people wanting to cycle to work, helping us to reduce not only congestion created by vehicles but also improve other environmental concerns such as air quality.”