Bike it! For a Fitter Future

Obesity is a growing problem in the United Kingdom and worryingly it is spreading to a young generation. One third of 10 and 11-year-old children in Bournemouth and Poole, Southeast UK are either overweight or obese. Today the school run accounts for 20% of all cars on the road and obesity levels in the UK are on the rise with 25% of 11 to 15-year-old children being overweight or obese.

To tackle this driving to school syndrome, Sustrans, National Health Service (NHS) Bournemouth and Poole joined forces to get cars off the roads and children onto their bikes.

Sustrans “Bike It” project encourages pupils across the region to choose two wheels instead of four for the journey to school. This is a nationwide scheme, managed by sustainable transport non-profit organisation Sustrans.

The project was officially launched on March 27, in Bournemouth. 340 pupils took part in the “Keep it Wheel” bike week, which inspired an entire school to saddle up and see for themselves how easy cycling can be. For the next four years “Bike It” will aim to treble the levels of cycling across all participating schools.

The “Bike It” project works with over 400 schools and over 60,000 children and young people across England and Wales. Nationally the project is funded by Cycling England, and the cycle industry through the Bike Hub, locally the scheme is also supported by the local NHS trust and Poole Borough Council.


by Ed Howarth, picture by Jason Falconer

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