A PRIMARY school has become the first in Bradford to benefit from new cycle facilities, awarded as part of a programme to make schools more bike friendly.

Fagley Primary is the first school in West Yorkshire to receive new cycle storage through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme, joining more than 1,198 young people from schools across Bradford to benefit from the Authority’s Bike Friendly Schools initiative.

The school is less than a quarter of a mile from the 14km Cycle Superhighway that links Bradford to Leeds, and provides a safer route for pupils to cycle to school.

The school is on its way to becoming a CityConnect-accredited Bike Friendly School, with pupils taking part in cycle training and developing their bike skills as well as the new secure cycle shelter, which provides space for 22 bikes.

Funded from the CityConnect programme, the shelter has been available since the start of the autumn half term, and is already proving popular with pupils, filling up every day.

Pupils have already been learning how to put their new cycle training skills into use, with over 30 Year 6 pupils taking part in a session helping them to cycle to their secondary school in October. The school also got involved in the national Cycle City Active City conference held in Bradford in May, with 20 pupils riding the Cycle Superhighway into the centre of Bradford to take part in a British Cycling skills session.

Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority said: “There are many benefits of cycling to school and I’m delighted that the West Yorkshire Combined Authority is helping children across the region cycle safely and securely.

“Having a safe route to ride to school and providing training to help students get the most out of their bikes will give more young people, and their parents, the confidence to incorporate cycling into their everyday routine.

“It’s fantastic to see how enthusiastically teachers and pupils at Fagley Primary, and other schools across Bradford, are working towards their Bike Friendly School status. I’m so pleased that the CityConnect team have been able to help the school and its pupils enjoy the enormous benefits of cycling, including funding this new shelter.”

Recent research by Strathclyde and Dundee Universities has shown how daily physical exercise such as cycling to school can improve academic performance. More children cycling also means fewer cars on the school run.

Other schools in Bradford taking part in the Bike Friendly Schools scheme include Byron Primary, Dixons City Academy, Barkerend Primary, Thornbury Primary and Dixons Marchbank Primary School. Thornbury and Byron Primary have also received funded bike parking through the CityConnect scheme.

Claire Greenwood from Fagley Primary Said: ‘We really care and want our children to be successful in all aspects of life, in order to be confident, independent, collaborative and resilient learners in the ever changing society of today.

“Opportunities like this provided by CityConnect contribute to the new learning experience of the children at Fagley.”