Children take up the cycling baton for Yorkshire

Words and photo by Dave Barry

Pupils from 10 Scarborough schools took part in a Yorkshire-wide baton-relay event aimed at getting more children on bikes.

They carried a gold baton along the old railway track and into town, culminating under the Wykeham Street bridge, where the track ends.

The young cyclists were from St Martin’s, Newby & Scalby, Hackness, St Peter’s, Northstead and Braeburn primary schools; Scalby, Graham and Pindar secondary schools; and the University Technical College.

They were greeted by the borough mayor, Cllr Joe Plant, town crier David Birdsall and a large contingent of pupils from nearby Gladstone Road School.

The Schools’ Yorkshire Tour has been developed by 12 Yorkshire local authorities including North Yorkshire County Council, in partnership with Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity.

The aim is to encourage more young people from primary, secondary and special schools to take up cycling by promoting it as a fun and cool mode of transport.

The goal is to increase the number of pupils cycling safely to school and promote an active lifestyle while improving air quality and reducing congestion outside schools.

Pupils from 162 schools throughout Yorkshire cycled 400 miles and passed through Whitby, Scarborough, Flamborough, York, Doncaster, Rotherham, Sheffield, Barnsley, Wakefield, Kirklees, Bradford and Calderdale.

County councillors David Jeffels, who represents Seamer and Derwent Valley, and Derek Bastiman, the member for Scalby and the coast, funded T-shirts and plimsoll bags for the children taking part, from their locality budgets.

Cllr Jeffels said: “The schools’ cycle baton relay is an exciting event for young people, building on the great success of the Tour de Yorkshire. It not only gives them an opportunity to enjoy the spectacular scenery of North Yorkshire, but encourages more young people to take up cycling as a great sport and an excellent way of keeping fit. I’m delighted to have been able to help support what I am sure will be an outstanding event, which I hope will become an annual feature of North Yorkshire’s sporting calendar”.