During the winter term, and inspired by our school’s sustainability drive, I challenged myself to cycle into school from my home in Solihull every Friday. In due course, I started looking forward to those 50 minutes of energy and reflection and it transformed my perspective on my travel footprint. Every avoidable car journey we make contributes to the harmful gases released into our air, ultimately shortening lives of children in Birmingham by half a year and killing 40,000 prematurely.
Urban cycling could bring us many steps towards a solution. Cycling doubles up as sustainable transport and exercise and helps us be part of the solution, not part of the problem. It is up to us to normalise getting on a bike as a natural mode of transport, not something set aside for recreational use. It is proven that cycling in the morning helps with concentration at school and boosts your mental health! Our school’s bike access is better than ever before, with connections via the Worcester-Birmingham canal and the brand-new, bright blue Bristol Road cycle path.
Of course, a considerable number of us live so far away as to necessitate the use of public transport. Nevertheless, over half of students at KES live within cycling distance of school. Take a look at the travel time map and see how it could influence the way you travel.
Looking ahead, in order to make cycling a more innate part of KES culture we are planning to make hot chocolate a permanent weekly treat for all cycle commuters – letting students and staff relish their hard work together.
Measure. Reduce. Inspire.