Pupils from Brownhill Primary School and St. Augustine’s Catholic Primary School in Leeds have brought the 400-mile cycling relay which has been winding its way through Yorkshire for the past month, to a close today.
The pupils rode into Millennium Square to hand over the baton to the Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Graham Latty, Welcome to Yorkshire’s Sir Gary Verity and Leeds City Council’s executive member for children and families Councillor Lisa Mulherin.
The Schools Yorkshire Tour relay began on Tuesday 5 June as part of national Bike Week and saw hundreds of pupils from primary, secondary and special schools in Yorkshire pass a baton over 400 miles from the start in Pickering to its final destination in Leeds.
The tour started in North Yorkshire and passed through East Riding, York, Doncaster, Rotherham, Sheffield, Barnsley, Wakefield, Kirklees, Bradford and Calderdale before ultimately finishing in Leeds with a massive celebration event at Leeds Civic Hall which was attended by representatives from each school which has taken part.
The young cyclists were also able to meet Brian Robinson BEM who was the first Briton to finish the Tour de France and the first to win a Tour stage, at the welcome event.
The final stage of the Schools Yorkshire Tour saw pupils travel down City Connect’s new section of the Cycle Superhighway, providing a cycle route protected from traffic between Seacroft and the city centre.
The tour was organised by 12 Yorkshire local authorities in partnership with Welcome to Yorkshire, West Yorkshire Combined Authority Sustrans and PWLC Projects, and supported by YPO, Streetbikes, The Works Skate Park, Child Friendly Leeds and Active Schools Leeds.
Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Leeds City Council’s executive member for children and families said:
“The Schools Yorkshire Tour welcome event will give the children who’ve taken part a chance to meet and celebrate what they have achieved.
“As well as gaining valuable cycling and road safety skills, being part of an event like this shows the children and young people that cycling is a fun, healthy and accessible mode of travel, and will hopefully encourage everyone to cycle more often.”
Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for regeneration, transport and planning said:
“Our sustainable travel team have done a fantastic job pulling this tour together with all our partners from across the region. By working together we can encourage more young people to take up cycling both as a fun activity but also as a way to get to school. Increasing the number of pupils who cycle safely to school is a key priority and helps to reduce congestion outside the school gates, which in turn helps improve air quality for all our residents.”
Sir Gary Verity DL, Chief Executive at Welcome to Yorkshire said:
“These young cyclists deserve a celebration after playing their part in a fantastic event which has brought together children from right across the county. I’ll be delighted to see them cross the finish line and am really looking forward to judging the imaginative entries of the ‘bling a bike’ competition.
“I hope the Schools Yorkshire Tour – as well as races like the Tour de Yorkshire and 2019 UCI Road World Championships – will inspire children to keep riding and enjoy the many health, social and environmental benefits cycling brings.”