New ‘cycle stores’ to enable more children to ride their bikes to school and store them safely have been officially opened by Active Travel Commissioner, Dame Sarah Storey.
Arlies Primary School and Silver Springs Primary Academy in Stalybridge are the latest schools to have cycling storage facilities installed after receiving grants from Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM).
Each cycle store provides young cyclists with stands to secure their bikes under a large shelter, ensuring that their bikes are safe and dry while they learn at school. Teachers and school staff can also use the stores.
Dame Sarah, who was appointed as Active Travel Commissioner last year, visited both Arlies Primary and Silver Springs to meet pupils and officially open their cycle stores on Tuesday. Dame Sarah also delivered talks at each primary to inspire and enlighten youngsters about the benefits of walking, wheeling and cycling to school.
Home to school travel is one of the commissioner’s five priorities in her Refreshed Active Travel Mission for the city-region to ensure schools have the tools to support youngsters in participating in active travel. It also forms a key component in the delivery of a fully-integrated transport system, the Bee Network.
Dame Sarah Storey, said: “It was great fun to meet pupils and staff at Arlies and Silver Springs and officially open their new cycle stores.
“Their enthusiasm for walking, wheeling and cycling was infectious, but I heard that it hasn’t always been easy to make active journeys to school. It’s noticeable how these new facilities are already supporting more active journeys and I really hope these excellent facilities continue to be well used and lead to more children, teachers and school staff walking or cycling to school.
“Everyone agreed it is great to get moving in the fresh air before and after the school day and has the added benefit of reducing traffic congestion in the local area.”
Arlies Primary and Silver Springs are two of 10 schools in Tameside and in 62 Greater Manchester to be awarded funding for cycle stores.
A shelter and five ‘Sheffield stands’ were installed at Arlies, while a new shelter was built to cover existing stands at Silver Springs, plus additional stands at a second location.
Silver Springs has been involved in several events along the first Bee Network scheme to open in Tameside.
Pupils have taken part in two story walks, a ‘jog, walk or wheel’ event and a festive ‘Jingle Jog’, enjoying the fresh air and exercise along the scenic walking and cycling route. These were facilitated and supported by Tameside Council, TfGM and Ridgehill Big Local Enterprises, a not-for-profit social enterprise that leases and manages Chadwick Dam to benefit the community. Pupils can use the new network to make sustainable journeys to and from school or to access the natural scenery.
Deborah Mason, Principal of Silver Springs, said: “We were thrilled to welcome Dame Sarah Storey to Silver Springs. We are committed to enriching our children’s education with wider opportunities in sport and promoting healthy lifestyles.
“The children really enjoyed the opportunity to hear about her role as Active Travel Commissioner and were inspired by her responses to their questions about her sporting career and future plans.”
Tameside Council Executive Leader Councillor Gerald Cooney, added: “These fantastic new cycle stores will be of great benefit to pupils and staff who are able to take the healthy and sustainable option of cycling to school.
“It’s been brilliant to see the children enjoying the events we’ve helped organise at Chadwick Dam, which have highlighted the walking and cycling route and the scenic area. And there’s much more to come across Tameside with more Bee Network routes and cycling and walking improvements in the pipeline.”
People can find out more about future funding by signing up to TfGM’s Active Travel newsletter, or by visiting the TfGM website.