Belfast Telegraph

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Pupils get on bikes and scooters to save 50,000 school run car journeys

By Linda Stewart

Published 04/04/2015

Northern Ireland's children have battled road congestion by cycling and scooting nearly 83,000 miles to and from school in just three weeks - avoiding more than 50,000 car journeys
Northern Ireland's children have battled road congestion by cycling and scooting nearly 83,000 miles to and from school in just three weeks - avoiding more than 50,000 car journeys

Northern Ireland's children have battled road congestion by cycling and scooting nearly 83,000 miles to and from school in just three weeks - avoiding more than 50,000 car journeys.

The journeys were made as part of The Big Pedal - the UK's biggest inter-school cycling and scooting competition run by Sustrans. In Northern Ireland, 67 schools registered to take part in the competition - double last year's number - and together made more than 33,000 bike and scooter journeys to school.

St Ciaran's Primary School in Cushendun, Co Antrim, was the top performing school here and was in the top 20 of schools across the UK out of 1,720 schools.

The school reached a daily average of 76% of pupils travelling to school by bike or scooter over the 10-day challenge.

St Ciaran's acting principal Helen Magee said: "All the pupils, staff and families at St Ciaran's are very excited at winning such a prestigious competition and making the top 20 in the UK.

"I'm very proud of this achievement for the school and local community. We couldn't have done it without all the parents' support."

The other top-performing schools in Northern Ireland were St Mary's Christian Brothers Grammar in west Belfast, St Mary's Primary School, Killyleagh, and Limavady Grammar School.

Sustrans also revealed that the competition saved more than £10,500 in fuel costs and saved more than 2,000 gallons of fuel from being used for the school run as well as preventing around 23 tonnes of CO2 from being emitted.

To find out more about Sustrans work in schools go to www.sustrans.org.uk/change-your-travel

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