School bids to get more children on their bikes

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WEARSIDE youngsters had a wheely great time as part of a bid to get pupils on their bikes.

Youngsters at Lambton Primary School, in Washington, can now park their bikes in new purpose-built sheds installed as part of a health drive.

Taking part in the celebrations for the Bike It Project at Lambton Primary School, Washington, were Jasmine Osborne and Bobby Patterson, both aged six.

Taking part in the celebrations for the Bike It Project at Lambton Primary School, Washington, were Jasmine Osborne and Bobby Patterson, both aged six.

A new project aims to encourage them to saddle up and cycle to the Caradoc Close school instead of being driven there by their parents.

Scooter parking bays have also been provided.

The initiative is a partnership between Sunderland City Council and Sustrans, the active travel charity.

It is being funded by GoSmarter Tyne and Wear.

Washington Central councillor Linda Williams cut a ribbon to officially open the bike stands as excited pupils looked on.

She said: “It’s lovely to see such creativity from the children, who had so much fun decorating their bikes.

“I hope they enjoy the value, both environmentally and in terms of health benefits, of cycling.”

Headteacher Amanda Defty said the project was a response to parents’ requests for children to be able to bring their bikes to school.

She added: “A successful partnership has enabled the pupils to enjoy this event.

“Hopefully, it is the start of a project allowing pupils to travel to school in various ways.”

The 300-pupil school has had three new bike stands for bike and scooter parking installed free of charge by the council.

Three classes of Years 1 and 2 pupils designed displays to decorate each bike stand.

A series of coached cycling sessions – designed to develop pupils’ bike-handling and safety skills using fun exercises and games – was also held at the launch.