New bike shelter for school after cycle scheme success

WHEEL JOY From left: Isobel Thompson, Abbie Stoker, Councillor Peter Edgar, headteacher Georgina Mulhall, and Georgina Street
WHEEL JOY From left: Isobel Thompson, Abbie Stoker, Councillor Peter Edgar, headteacher Georgina Mulhall, and Georgina Street

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STAFF and students celebrated the success of a biking scheme at their school with the opening of a new facility.

Gomer Junior became a “Bike It!” school in December 2014.

The “Bike It!” scheme aims to give young people the skills and confidence to travel to school on their own and give their parents the confidence to let them.

Following the success of the scheme, with more and more children cycling to school, a new bike shelter for 60 bikes has been built with the help of Sustrans, a charity that promotes travel by foot, bike, or public transport.

The new facility, which was also funded by donations from the school’s PTA, FROGJS (Friends of Gomer Junior School), was opened at a special ceremony.

Councillor Peter Edgar of Gosport Borough Council opened the shelter alongside a Sustrans representative from “BikeIt!” who has been working at the school to promote the scheme, as well as school governors and the children.

Since becoming involved in the “BikeIt!” scheme, the school has hosted a variety of events.

The activities have included a smoothie bike breakfast, a bike doctor clinic for adults and children, a bike train for year six pupils around Gosport, cycling proficiency for those children who can’t cycle, holiday sessions and a variety of safety assemblies.

Sarah Bottriell, a learning mentor at Gomer Junior, is also the school’s “BikeIt” champion and coordinated the activities with the support of the headteacher.

She also formed a pupil bike crew to further promote cycling in to school.

Sarah said: ‘I have thoroughly enjoyed being the school’s “BikeIt!” champion.

‘It has been great seeing children’s confidence grow and an increased number of children cycling in to school.’

Sustrans have more than 140 expert schools officers working in more than 2,400 schools across the UK, enabling children to travel actively and safely.

In one year of working with a school they typically achieve double the number of children cycling to school every day.