Rosemount Primary School headmaster Paul Bradley hopes his pupils’ participation in a major initiative to discourage car use and get more children cycling and walking to school will lead to cleaner air and better public health in Derry over future generations.
Pupils from the school are this week taking part in the sustainable transport charity Sustrans’ ‘Big Pedal 2018’ (April 23 to May 4), which is aimed at encouraging more and more young people to cycle, walk and scoot to school.
Mr. Bradley said: “We’re doing our bit to encourage our students to travel by bike or foot by promoting the importance of an active lifestyle in our morning assemblies and through events like the ‘Big Pedal’.
“In doing so, we hope our pupils will ditch their cars in favour of a more active commute - helping to reduce the number of vehicles outside the school gates and improve the air quality in the area.
“This year we held a walk to school day in March which proved very successful.
“During the day 300 pupils (almost 85 per cent of the school population) took part and made the effort to walk to school from a variety of locations across Derry.
“We also closed part of the car park as part of Sustrans’ new ‘Feet First Families’ initiative to highlight how much extra space the children could have for play areas if less parents travelled by car.
“It has definitely had an impact and has made the kids more aware of the benefits to their health and the environment.”