Leeds pupils have taken part in the 2019 Schools Yorkshire Tour this week, a 200-mile cycle relay which aims to encourage more pupils to cycle to school and improve cycle skills.
Pupils from various schools across the city have been transporting the baton from school to school, starting at Guiseley Primary School in the north of the city and finishing at Co-op Academy Priesthorpe on the Bradford border.
Children and young people from over 125 schools across Yorkshire are taking part in the cycling relay which covers 11 local authority areas over the next 3 weeks. Over 1250 children will take part in the event.
The relay began on Monday 10 June outside York Minster as part of national Bike Week (8th – 14th June) and will culminate in Doncaster on Tuesday 2 July.
Pupils from primary, secondary and SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) schools in Yorkshire will be passing the baton over 200 miles to its final destination.
The baton will pass through York, North Yorkshire, Leeds, Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Wakefield, Barnsley, Sheffield and Rotherham local authority areas before it is ultimately handed back to Doncaster Council and Peter Dodd (Welcome to Yorkshire) at the final event at Cast in Doncaster.
Schools who have taken part in the ride will be invited to the event to welcome home the baton as it completes its journey across the county. Dame Sarah Storey will also be attending the final event.
Organised by 11 local authorities and various partners (City Connect, West Yorkshire Police, British Cycling, Sustrans, Welcome to Yorkshire), the aim of the tour is to encourage more young people to take up cycling by promoting it as a fun, everyday method of transport.
The event has been supported by YPO (Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation) and HSBC.
Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for learning, skills and employment said:
“It’s fantastic to see that schools across Leeds have been taking part in the Schools Yorkshire Tour this week.
“Events like this are hugely important in not only teaching children and young people valuable cycling and road safety skills but also showing them that cycling is a fun, healthy and accessible mode of travel, which will hopefully encourage everyone to cycle more often. I hope that all those involved had a great time despite the weather.”
Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Leeds City Council’s executive member for climate change, transport and sustainable development said:
“The Schools Yorkshire Tour is a fantastic event and I hope that by working together with partners 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 ages.”