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Schools on the right path to encouraging ‘Active Travel’

31 July 2017

As Bridgend County Borough Council continues its public consultation over which ‘Active Travel’ improvements residents would like to see to help them walk or cycle safely, two local schools have picked up trophies for their own efforts in encouraging families to choose two wheels rather than four.

Ysgol Bryn Castell and Porthcawl Primary School enjoyed a ‘wheelie’ good end to the summer term after they were presented with their trophies for being so successful in this year’s Big Pedal Challenge.

The competition, which ran for a fortnight, challenged youngsters across the UK to travel by bike or scooter for the daily school run, with parents leaving their cars at home.

Porthcawl Primary School finished as the top primary school in Wales (five day category) and Ysgol Bryn Castell picked up second place in a UK-wide one-day challenge. An impressive 73 per cent of the daily journeys made by Porthcawl pupils were made on two wheels during their challenge.

Councillor Richard Young, Bridgend County Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “So many of our schools are tremendously positive in promoting active travel to their pupils, realising the excellent benefits for the whole school community that can be gained by pupils either walking, cycling or scooting more rather than spending the school run sat in a car. Children get to school feeling more energised, healthier, and more ready to learn.

“As a council, we have worked extremely hard in recent years to improve our active travel infrastructure, as we want to make it a realistic option for people to leave their cars at home for everyday short journeys such as the daily school run, the commute to work, or trips to shops and amenities.

“The success achieved by local schools in the Big Pedal Challenge demonstrates that active travel is achievable for many residents in Bridgend County Borough, but we want to do more.”

After carrying out an initial public consultation in 2015 to find out which routes people were using most for their everyday journeys on foot or two wheels, Bridgend County Borough Council is currently mid-way through a 12-week public consultation that is inviting views on the new routes and improvements people would like to see built, such as new paths, safer crossings and other road safety measures.

Maps showing a total of 161 possible new active travel routes have been drawn up, with proposed routes including Newton to Porthcawl town centre, Garth to Maesteg Comprehensive School, and a safe link between Parc Derwen and Brackla as part of a longer route that would also join up Bridgend town centre with the Bridgend Designer Outlet along the dual carriageway.

Another proposal would connect Brynmenyn with Blaengarw Country Park, completing the Garw Valley Community Route, while safe routes could also be created from Broadlands to Bryntirion Comprehensive School, Litchard to Brynteg Comprehensive School, and Pen-y-Fai to Bryntirion Comprehensive School.

Councillor Young added: “This consultation will help us to discover which new routes would be welcomed the most by local residents, so that we can prioritise which ones we will then be bidding for funding to create over the next 15 years. 

“These shorter, urban routes are being focused on in the first instance due to the greater potential number of people who would make use of them, but other longer-term schemes have also been earmarked including Pyle to Porthcawl, Maesteg to Tondu, and Bridgend to Porthcawl.

“As part of the consultation we’ve held exhibitions in many local venues, while school children have also contributed their views. Thanks to everyone who has shared their opinions so far, and don’t miss the chance to have your say too by completing the survey online.”

Bridgend County Borough Council’s ‘Active Travel’ consultation closes on 1 September 2017, and to have your say, please click here.

Last Updated: 31/07/2017
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