Schools around the Isle of Man will be taking part in an Active Travel Week from Monday 27 September to Friday 1 October.
Coinciding with the UK-wide Bike to School Week, a series of events will be taking place to motivate pupils and families to think about how they travel to and from school.
Pupils will be encouraged to choose walking, cycling, scooting or any other means of active travel whenever possible during the week, for part if not all of their journeys.
The benefits of active travel are wide-ranging, from improving physical and mental health, to ensuring young people arrive feel relaxed, alert and ready for the school day. Reducing car journeys has a positive impact on air quality and congestion around schools, and saves money on fuel costs.
Teachers will incorporate active travel into lessons during the week and there will be a series of workshops running in a number of schools, covering road safety to bike maintenance and skateboarding, involving the Isle of Man Constabulary’s Road Safety Team, mechanics from Bikestyle, Cycle 360, Erin Bike Hut, Eurocycles, Outdoors Ramsey, and Tyred and Cranky, as well as instructors from The Shred House.
There will also be active travel assemblies in schools and surveys of schools’ local areas to suggest improvements that would enable safer and easier active travel routes.
Teachers will be able to nominate pupils for prizes during the week, rewarding active travel first timers through to those with the highest active mileage, as well as recognising success in classroom projects and workshops.
Breeshey Harkin, the Isle of Man Government’s Active Travel Liaison Officer, said:
‘We look forward to celebrating the many benefits an active school run brings with Active Travel Week, taking us a step closer to active travel becoming a normal and realistic transport choice for young people on our Island.
‘We’re hoping that this hands-on workshop approach will help our pupils and families understand the benefits of active travel, and encourage them to take the steps towards making it a regular alternative to the school run.’
Families are encouraged to plan safe routes to school with their children and ensure they have appropriate equipment; they may also consider teaming up with other families to share supervision duties on active travel journeys.