The first Schools’ Yorkshire Tour took place in June 2017, it was designed by the Leeds City Council’s Influencing Travel Behaviour Team to promote safe and sustainable travel to and from school.
The schools’ Yorkshire Tour
Following on from the Legacy of the Tour De France, when Leeds hosted Le Grand Depart in 2014, came the Leeds Schools Cycle Challenge (2014), also known as the mini Tour de France. This event brought with it a huge excitement and renewed passion for cycling, capturing the hearts and minds of the children and young people, as they were able to take part in a large scale cycle event.
Building on from the success of the Leeds Schools Cycle Challenge the Influencing Travel Behaviour Team wanted to capture this interest and use it to show how cycling can be made to be a part of everyday life, and help communities promote cycling as a sustainable mode of transport. The Schools’ Yorkshire Tour was developed on the back of this success.
The overall aim of the Schools’ Yorkshire Tour is to encourage more young people to take up cycling, by promoting cycling as a fun and ‘cool’ method of transport. As a result increasing the number of pupils cycling safely to school on a daily basis whilst improving the health of children and therefore reducing congestion outside schools and improving air quality.
Cycling to and from school is a great way for children and parents to incorporate physical activity into their day. Cycling allows children to travel quickly and independently through their local areas, providing not just autonomy and a learning experience, but a daily sense of achievement.
The Schools Yorkshire Tour is the ideal event to show children, parents and schools that commuting to school by bicycle is a realistic option. By planning safe routes from school to school it will help people realise that they can cycle around their local areas and communities safely by using new and existing cycling infrastructure.
Children and young people from over 160 schools across Yorkshire will be taking part in the Schools Yorkshire Tour, where a cycling relay starts on 5 June to 3 July 2018 to celebrate national Bike Week.
The baton will travel 640 km (400 miles) from the start in Pickering North Yorkshire to its final destination in Millennium Square Leeds on Tuesday 3 July 2018.
A baton will be passed by pupils 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 celebration event.
The Grand Finale
A celebration event will take place at Civic Hall. This year the event will be presided over by The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Cllr Graham Latty, Cllr Mulherin, Executive Board Member for Children and Families, Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive Welcome to Yorkshire and Brian Robinson BEM.
As the children arrive at Millennium Square they will be treated to a cycle stunt show, whilst waiting for the cyclists from Brownhill Primary School and St Augustine’s Primary School to cycle into Millennium Square. The baton will be handed over to The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Cllr Graham Latty, bringing the second Schools Yorkshire Tour to an end.