Pupils rise to the latest active travel challenge

Primary schools across Bridgwater are competing to see who’s the best when it comes to getting to school on foot, bike or scooter.  

The Bridgwater Schools Challenge is kicking off the next phase of Somerset County Council’s Bridgwater Way initiative. The three-week inter-school event which started this week will see primary schools taking on the active travel challenge and potentially net big cash prizes for their school if they top the table.

It coincides with international Walk to School Month, which runs throughout October.   Every day during the challenge pupils at participating schools will be logging how they get to school with cycling, walking or scooting scoring the most points. Pupils can also car share with friends to cut down on congestion.

Previous challenges have had a big impact on the number of pupils travelling actively and a reduction in the number of cars at the school gates.  

Bridgwater Way

Councillor John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport said: “We can all play a part in cutting down on congestion in our towns, and the Bridgwater Way is a great example of how we can support safe active travel to school.
“We’re looking forward to seeing who comes top in the Challenge, but the most important thing is that we encourage children and parents to travel actively whenever they can. It’s good for their health and the environment.”  

The Bridgwater Way initiative aims to encourage people to take up cycling or walking more regularly and enjoy the health benefits – both mentally and physically. There’s a website with an interactive route map highlighting the wealth of cycling and walking pathways in and around the town, plus loads of information and ideas on how to get more active as part of your daily routine.

And there are a raft of other initiatives coming up which schools can all get involved in:

  • Cycle maintenance training for pupils to support their Bikeability training, with sessions for teachers and parents too.
  • Walk to school weeks and activities
  • Bling up your bike/soup up your scooter celebration days in school
  • Active travel rewards schemes in schools
  • Dr Bike healthchecks for get bikes into tip top condition
  • Be safe be seen activities to keep everyone safe on the journey to school
  • A pilot scheme for teachers to trial an e-bike for the journey to school
  • Secondary school students can also get involved with opportunities to plan a climate friendly street and other interactive sessions in school to help them understand how they can have a positive impact on the environment around them and proactively plan for more walking and cycling in the future.  

The aim is to introduce simple and low-cost activities in school that support active travel choices over the longer term.   If your school isn’t involved right now – don’t worry, getting involved couldn’t be simpler. Just contact

helen.bonner@steergroup.com for details.  

For more info on The Bridgwater Way visit www.thebridgwaterway.co.uk