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Bike around the borough

A large contingent of Hackney schoolchildren took to the roads for a mass ride around the borough. 873 riders and 617 students from 34 schools participated in the nine mile ride.

Bike around the borough is organised by the Council and the Hackney Safer Transport Police to provide a chance for students to practice skills learned through national standards cycle training and to help them realise how easy it is to travel around the borough by bike.

Bike 4 Life  

As part of the Change 4 Life campaign there are some free resources which are great for promoting cycling to school! See below to download the Bike 4 Life guides and posters. For more information about the Change 4 Life campaign go to

Benefits of cycling to school 

  • Improves health and fitness of students
  • Less pollution and congestion near the school
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Boosts student's confidence and independence
  • Fewer problems with parking spaces
  • Improves student's road safety awareness
  • Gets students and staff to school on time
  • Cheap mode of travel
  • Fun and enjoyable

Data from Hackney Schools' School Travel Plans (STPs) shows that 33% of pupils from primary and secondary schools would like to cycle to school but only 3% do. 

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Encouraging cycling to school 

Cycle promotion ideas for schools:

  • Ensure there is secure cycle parking for pupils and staff at your school and publicise this well, for example in newsletters and during assemblies
  • Organise cycle training for pupils to improve their skills and increase their confidence
  • Encourage staff to cycle. Ask members of staff who currently cycle to work to become 'cycling' champions' to promote cycling to other members of staff
  • Hold a cycling event, for example a 'bikers breakfast' or 'bling your bike' activity perhaps during Bike Week in June
  • Reward children who cycle to school, for example a prize draw for children who cycle at least once a week, to win fun cycling related prizes
  • Offer incentives to staff to switch from driving to work to cycling instead - e.g. prize draw or sustainable travel bonus
  • Inform staff about free cycle training available from the Council  

Cycle training 

Cycle training helps children to develop their cycling skills both on and off-road and to become more confident.

Hackney Council offers a free cycle training course to any school in the borough and also one to one training for staff and parents. To find out about the range of cycle training being offered and make a booking go to the cycle training page.

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Cycle safety

Advice for parents - children and young adults cycling to school:

  • Provide bright and reflective clothing, supportive shoes and a back pack
  • Never buy a bike for your child to "grow into". An oversized bike could be uncomfortable, dangerous and is likely to put your child off cycling
  • Don't buy a bike as a surprise present as the child needs to be there to try it out
  • Ensure the bike is the right size and properly adjusted. The child should be able to straddle the crossbar, standing with both feet on the ground, with 2 to 5 cm of clearance. The seat is at the right height if the child's pedalling leg is almost fully extended at the bottom of each stroke. The handlebars should be the same height as the seat and should allow an upright posture to enable a good range of vision
  • It is a good idea to check the bike's weight. Many children's bikes are simply cut down adult versions and far too heavy. Ideally the bike should not weigh more than 13KG
  • Make sure the bike is equipped with a full set of regulation reflectors (white at the front, red on the rear wheel and at the back)
  • Buy a well fitting cycle helmet. You should only buy a helmet if it carries a CE mark and one of the normal safety standards eg. BS683:1989, AS.2063, ANSI, IZZ 90.4 SNELL, B90 or B95
  • Teach your child how to lock up their bike correctly

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Cycle parking 

If your school wishes to encourage pupils and staff to cycle to school it is vital to provide secure cycle parking on site. The cycle parking facilities should be clearly visible and accessible and where possible be covered to provide shelter in poor weather. For more information regarding choosing cycle parking visit the Sustrans website.

A list of cycle shelter and pedestrian shelter companies can be downloaded below:

Cycle Shelter and Pedestrian Shelter Contacts (PDF, 22KB) 


There are various ways for schools to receive cycle parking facilities at the school grounds. Find out about the different grants and funding sources available

Bike shops in Hackney

For an up to date list of bike shops in Hackney visit:

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'On Your Bike' guidance 

On Your Bike is a guidance booklet produced by Transport for London. It contains useful information and case studies about what other London schools have done to promote cycling to school.

Visit the Downloads page to download a copy.

Cycle scheme for school staff  (how to buy a tax-free bike) 

Cycling to work has its financial benefits, as well as health an environmental. Did you know you could save £1,000 a year by cycling to work? (based on a £250 bike and a 5 mile journey through zones 1 and 2).

Need a bike? Through the cycle to work scheme you can save up to 42% on a bike by paying in instalments from your pre-tax salary. It is easy for schools to set up their own scheme, visit Cyclescheme for more information.

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Page updated: 4 Aug 2015 

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