Children and young people from over 160 schools across Yorkshire will be taking part in a cycling relay covering 12 local authority areas over the next four weeks.
The Schools Yorkshire Tour relay will start on Tuesday 5 June as part of national Bike Week. The relay will see pupils from primary, secondary and special schools in Yorkshire pass a baton over 400 miles from the start in Pickering to its final destination in Leeds on Tuesday 3 July.
The tour has been organised by 12 Yorkshire local authorities in partnership with Welcome to Yorkshire, West Yorkshire Combined Authority Sustrans and PWLC Projects.
A baton will be passed by school children and young people from school to school and local authority to local authority along a pre-planned route across Yorkshire. In addition, there will be a variety of events planned at some of the schools taking part in the relay along the route and at historic locations.
The event starts in North Yorkshire and passes through East Riding, York, Doncaster, Rotherham, Sheffield, Barnsley, Wakefield, Kirklees, Bradford and Calderdale before ultimately finishing in Leeds with a massive celebration event at Leeds Civic Hall attended by The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Welcome to Yorkshire’s Sir Gary Verity. The young cyclists will also be able to meet Brian Robinson BEM who was the first Briton to finish the Tour de France and the first to win a Tour stage.
The route uses the existing road network and off-road cycleways. A number of famous landmarks will form the backdrop to the route and baton handovers between districts, including the historic Stamford Bridge Viaduct and Whitby Abbey, as well as the historic cobbled main street of Haworth, the famous Five Raise Locks on Leeds Liverpool canal and the historic town of Saltire.
Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for learning, skills and employment said:
“The Schools Yorkshire Tour is a fantastic opportunity for children and young people to be part of something exciting. It will not only help our young people gain valuable cycling and road safety skills, but also help them to see that cycling can be a fun and accessible mode of travel, as well as helping to improve their health and wellbeing.”
Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for regeneration, transport and planning said:
“We want to encourage more young people to take up cycling both as a fun activity but also as a way to get to school. Increasing the number of pupils who cycle safely to school is a key priority and helps to reduce congestion outside the school gates, which in turn helps improve air quality for all our residents.”
Sir Gary Verity DL, Chief Executive at Welcome to Yorkshire, said:
“The Schools Yorkshire Tour is a tremendous initiative and seeing it grow over the last 12 months has been really exciting. Welcome to Yorkshire are delighted to be involved in this fantastic project which promotes healthy living, environmentally friendly travel, and brings young people from across the county together.”
Pupils from the schools taking part in the cycle relay will also be able to take part in a ‘bling a bike’ competition – the winners of which will be invited to attend the celebration event at the end of the tour.
Due to time constraints and accessibility the relay will not be a continuous route in some of the local authority areas.
The Schools Yorkshire Tour 2018 is being supported by YPO, Streetbikes, The Works skate park, Child Friendly Leeds and Active Schools Leeds.
For full details about the route and which schools are taking part please contact Leeds City Council press office on 0113 3786007.
To arrange media opportunities in each local authority area please contact the relevant press office.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 3789188