City leaders welcome report on cycling to school

Leaders from MK business, Council and voluntary organisations reacted positively to the findings of a large-scale survey of students’ travel behaviours and attitudes.

The survey of 2500 secondary school students showed 12% of Year 7 students cycle to school while 50% are driven. And of those living within a 15-minute cycle ride, nearly 40% are driven.

The report recommends action from schools and MK City Council to promote cycling to school in order to achieve personal health & wellbeing and net-zero carbon goals.

Cllr Emily Darlington, Cabinet Member for Adults, Housing and Healthy Communities, said: “If we could get more people cycling for leisure, exercise and transport, we could transform the mental health of people in this city.”

Cllr Zoe Nolan, Cabinet Member for Children & Families, said: “Imagine the difference we could make if we could get 1000 more Year 7 students cycling to school rather than being driven. Promoting cycling from the earliest age is so important. Talking to parents about how their children can cycle safely to school is vital. I am certain we can increase the 12% who are currently cycling.”

The event also celebrated the achievements of participants in the 2022-23 Business Cycling Challenge and the Schools Cycling Challenge. Mayor Amanda Marlow presented the following awards:

  • Top Cycling Company (most cycles on site one day) – Niftylift
  • Top Cycling Company (biggest increase in cycles on site since December) – Volkswagen Financial Services
  • Top Cycling School (most students in travel survey) – Walton High
  • Top Cycling School (most bicycles at school one day), 3rd Place – Lord Grey Academy

Ian Revell, CEO of MK Community Foundation, talked to the video of Cycling Santas 22.12.22 and outlined plans for the CMK Egg Hunt ride 6.4.23, inviting all join.

Bikeability Instructor Dave Lewis outlined plans for the launch of Bikeability Olympics 2023 (to video of Bikeability Olympics 2022).

Jacqueline Fairclough of MK City Council’s Transport Planning team announced the launch of Better Points 2023, the app which enables MK residents to accumulate points for goods and services or charity donations simply by walking, cycling or using public transport.

Finally Clive Faine of MK Cycle Forum and Malcolm Davies of Trek Bikes talked about the need to follow up the report, and the MK Cycle City Vision meeting at Trek Bikes on 2.2.23, and plan next steps towards building a sustainable alliance of business and voluntary organisations to help the Council increase cycling.

Michael Pattinson, Director of Mobility at PWC, explained there would be a follow-on meeting for potential alliance members across the road at PWC. At this meeting, it was agreed that a prospectus would be drawn up for potential members to consider and respond to within the next month.

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