Record number of schools sign up to Big Pedal challenge

Published: 12 March 2020

Council House at night

A record number of schools have signed up to this year’s Big Pedal, following a promotional campaign to make Derby the most active city in the country.

Organised by the walking and cycling charity Sustrans, and in its tenth year, the Big Pedal is the UK’s largest inter-school cycling, walking and scooting challenge inspiring pupils, staff and parents to choose ‘human power’ for their journey to and from school.

This year the challenge takes place between 22nd April to 5th May and see schools across the country compete to make and record the most active journeys, for a chance to win prizes.

Cycle Derby and Derby County Community Trust, teamed up with European Mountain Bike Champion Danny Butler, in a bid to get all 64 primary and junior schools to take part, and so far there’s 62 schools already signed up to take on the challenge.

As an incentive, the first 40 schools that signed up were offered a free trial stunt show. European Champion Danny has already taken his extreme bike show to Silverhill Primary School and will continue visiting two schools a day for the next four weeks. All other schools will receive free Balance or Learn to Ride sessions for their reception or year one class.

In 2018, only two Derby schools participated, however thanks to a campaign by Cycle Derby, which saw five school road closures and a visit for every school from world record holder Leigh Timmis, an amazing 32 schools participated in 2019. This resulted in over 37,000 active trips being made on foot, bike, scooter, skate or pogo stick. Children, parents and teachers together travelled the equivalent of more than seven times around the world, eliminating 74,000 car journeys, and saving over £26,000 in petrol. One of the city’s schools even made the national top ten.

Councillor Matthew Holmes, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Transportation and Planning said:

This is fantastic news that so many of our city schools have already signed up to this great initiative, and we are well on the way to get 100% participation. I’m especially keen to promote cycling to schools as this not only promotes a healthy lifestyle from a young age, it also encourages people to think more about the way they travel, which in turn reduces carbon emissions and improves air quality.

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