Thousands of Merseyside car
journeys abandoned as children jump on bikes
Photograph by Livia Lazar from Sustrans
CHILDREN from Shoreside Primary School,
Southport, got their superhero outfits on to celebrate the start of the Big
Pedal in Merseyside. 1500 schools, containing over 500,000 children, are taking
part and jumping on their bikes and scooters like those in Shoreside Primary
School over the next 2 weeks, in an attempt to reduce 4.8 million balloons worth
of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere in the North West.
Parents and teachers from across the North West region will leave their cars at
home for their normal trips to and from school, preventing over 145,000 car
journeys from taking place. Instead they will be cycling and scooting over
230,000 miles during the Big Pedal, a two week cycling and scooting competition
run by charity Sustrans.
The competition could save over 3 tonnes of Nitrogen Oxides and over 1,000
tonnes of CO2 from being emitted into the environment as part of the school run.
Nitrogen Oxides can cause breathing difficulties in vulnerable people, such as
asthmatics and older adults.
As well as reducing pollution which affects us all the Big Pedal can also help
reduce individuals' exposure to pollutants. Reports have shown that children who
travel actively could reduce their exposure to Nitrogen Oxides by up to 60% as
concentrations are higher inside the vehicle than outside.
Rosslyn Colderley, Sustrans' England Director for the North said:- "Over
40,000 people die each year in the UK directly because of air pollution and it
is simply unacceptable. The Big Pedal demonstrates the difference that can be
made if people are encouraged to leave their cars at home. Not only will they
get fitter and healthier by cycling and scooting, dangerous emissions are
reduced which benefits everyone. To make this happen on a large scale the
government must transform our towns and cities into places where cycling and
walking is the natural choice for journeys to school and work. Only by doing
this can we hope to prevent the thousands of deaths caused by air pollution and
at the same time make the nation healthier."
As well as providing environmental and health benefits, the Big Pedal also
enables parents and teachers to save money, last year collectively over £475,000
was saved in fuel costs by people cycling and scooting, instead of driving
during the competition throughout the UK.
Big Pedal in Britain which is running until 29 April 2016 and if you are taking
part please let us know, via emailing us to:-
News24@SouthportReporter.com. For more information on the event or
for tips on cycling and scooting to school, visit:-