School children go MAD for cycle competition prize

Children from West Acton Primary school were treated to a cycle stunt show from the MAD Cycle display team on Tuesday, 7 July as a reward being the Ealing winners of Sustrans’ Big Pedal 2015.

MAD cycle display team

Big Pedal is a national initiative that challenges schools to make the most journeys by bike or scooter during a specified period. The school that makes the biggest shift, proportionate to its size, is the winner. The aim of the competition is to encourage more children and parents to leave their cars at home; reducing congestion and car emissions.

In total, 10 Ealing schools took part in the competition. West Acton Primary School came top after achieving 1,680 journeys by bike or scooter over 10 days in March. The competition, along with a travel plan put together by the council and the school, has produced some permanent changes. Now 16% of children cycle to school (previously 7%) and 43% are never driven to school (previously 15%).

Alex Perry is a teacher at West Acton Primary and champions their travel plan. He said: “The Big Pedal has been a great way to bring the school together to promote healthy living and to achieve something as a school. It has been brilliant seeing so many children get involved. The MAD cycle show was a great prize that everyone enjoyed, staff included.”

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure, said: “This is a brilliant way to encourage people to swap four wheels for two and travel smarter to school. When children start their day by cycling or scooting they not only help to cut congestion and pollution, they also burn off energy and arrive at school ready to concentrate and learn.

“We will be supporting The Big Pedal competition again next year and I hope to see even more schools taking part.”

For more information on sustainable and healthy ways to travel around the borough, go to www.ealing.gov.uk/travelgreen.