Pupils get on their bikes for campaign

Pupils from John Spence Community High School taking advantage of the cycle paths near their school.

Pupils from John Spence Community High School taking advantage of the cycle paths near their school.

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Youngsters have been giving their support to a campaign encouraging fewer car journeys.

Parents and teachers from Star of the Sea RC Primary School, in Whitley Bay, joined others across the region to leave their cars at home for the school run, instead using bikes and scooters.

It is part of the Big Pedal, a two-week cycling and scooting competition run by charity Sustrans.

Every pupil’s journey by bike or scooter scores points for their school, with prizes on offer for those earning top spot in each area.

Rosslyn Colderley, England North director at Sustrans, said: “Over 40,000 people die each year in the UK directly because of air pollution and it is simply unacceptable.

“The Big Pedal demonstrates the difference that can be made if people are encouraged to leave their cars at home. Not only will they get fitter and healthier by cycling and scooting, dangerous emissions are reduced.

“To make this happen on a large scale, the Government must transform our towns and cities into places where cycling and walking is the natural choice for journeys to school and work.

“Only by doing this can we hope to prevent the thousands of deaths caused by air pollution and at the same time make the nation healthier.”

The Big Pedal also enables parents to save money, last year collectively over £475,000 was saved in fuel costs.

For more information on the event or for tips on cycling to school, visit www.sustrans.org.uk/bigpedal