There’s a knack for choosing the right cycle shelter for schools to make it a long-lasting and practical investment.
Cycle parking and bike canopy shelters may have been low on the list of priorities for parents and children (and therefore schools) in recent years but the future’s set to change.
The Government plans to make walking and cycling the primary mode of transport for everybody throughout the country by 2030. So, if you’re not considering secure bike shelters for your students now, you probably will be soon. Why not get ahead of the curve and encourage your students to get started right away?
Why Should Children Cycle to School?
Aside from aligning your school’s strategies to the Government’s plans, there are several other advantages of cycling to school. Advantages that benefit your school, the neighbourhood, the wellbeing of the children and your student’s academic performance.
Cycling to school:
- Encourages independence and builds confidence
When children take appropriate risks, they develop into stronger, healthier, more resourceful and confident adults. Appropriate risk-taking increases a child’s confidence emotionally, mentally, physically and academically. And cycling to school is a fantastic way to encourage appropriate risk-taking.
- Enhances Academic Performance
Children spend very little time exercising outdoors in today’s world. But spending time outdoors is vital to a child’s wellbeing and academic performance. Some of the main benefits of improved academic performance include increased oxygen flow to the brain, improved cognitive functions, stronger memory and recall skillsand reduced stress.
- Helps Your School Take Better Care Of The Environment
Sustrans claim that in 2020 motor traffic is responsible for 13% of all air pollution. Even worse, the charity claims that air pollution will rise to 30% by 2030. If that’s not problem enough, Sustrans studies confirm that between 28,000 – 36,000 early deaths in the UK occur because of air pollution. And with a heavy government focus on the need to improve our environment, encouraging children to cycle to school is a small role you can play within your community to help solve a huge problem.
- Reduces Traffic Congestion
Parents dropping off or picking up their children create enough traffic congestion for it to be disruptive and dangerous. Especially for your students and your neighbours who are walking or cycling during the school run time.
Cycling to school solves this problem. Every child or two who cycles is one less car on the road when the school day is over.
How Can Schools Encourage Children To Cycle To School?
All of these advantages of cycling to school are great, but the reality is, how can you encourage your students to cycle to school? Furthermore, how can you get their parents on board?
Here are four ideas that might help you get started.
1. Take advantage of the Bikeability scheme
Bikeability is a cycle training scheme which is endorsed by the Department For Transport. It offers three levels of Bikeability training, starting with the basics of cycling. The advanced level training teaches more about how to cycle on busy streets and roads.
2. Keep Up To Date With Government Policies On Cycling
The Government is actively working towards creating safer, more connected cycling paths throughout the UK. It’s their goal to make cycling and walking the primary mode of transport by 2030. Which will likely lead to funding in your communities to encourage walking and cycling and reduce ‘rat-running’. You can keep up to date with the Government’s policies on this here.
3. Teach Your Children About Why Cycling To School Is Good
With more pressure on schools to encourage outdoor learning, exercise and play and with even more pressure on everybody to take better care of the environment it makes sense to set aside some time to teach and encourage the children in your school to cycle.
4. Choose The Right Cycle Shelter For Your School
Of course, you will need some cycle parking, or a secure bicycle shelter if you’re planning to encourage more children to cycle to school.
How Can Schools Choose The Right Cycle Shelter?
Some people might say a bike shelter is a bike shelter, nothing more, nothing less, but that statement is false. There are several considerations you will need to make when choosing the right bike canopy shelter. Keep on reading to learn more.
Considerations you will need to make are:
How many bikes will you need to accommodate now and in the future?
2. Room to grow
As more students begin to cycle to meet the Government’s 2030 walk or cycle plans, you’ll need space to add more bike canopy shelters. Will you set aside a portion of your school grounds to add more secure bike shelters? How will you manage the footfall during peak times?
Perhaps you’ll assign your cycle parking around your school grounds according to year groups to avoid congestion. Or maybe you’ll plan for some cycle lanes to accommodate incoming and outgoing cycle traffic and pedestrians.
Whatever you consider, to make the most out of your bike shelters for schools, planning ahead will help you avoid having to remove and rebuild a secure bike shelter to accommodate your school’s growing demands.
Older students cycling to school, won’t have a problem locking their bikes up themselves, but younger children may need additional assistance. You might consider building secure bike shelters that you can lock during school hours.
It’s hard to imagine school cycle shelters taking centre stage in your school grounds when for so many years they’ve been small bicycle shelters assigned to the corner of a playground. Accommodating only one or two bikes every day.
But things are set to change.
So, when you’re choosing your bike canopy shelter, we recommend selecting a durable steel or aluminium framed canopy shelter with a polycarbonate roof and optional side infills. These are the best, most durable, practical and long-lasting cycle shelters for schools.
The small bicycle shelter you have now in your school grounds may not look too aesthetically pleasing, and it’s likely not the highest priority. But when your secure bike shelters are accommodating hundreds of bikes and are a major feature of your school, the way they look will become a priority.
The types of bicycle shelters for schools we recommend above are all aesthetically pleasing. You can paint them to match any other school canopies or covered walkways you may have around your school grounds.
Ideally, some sort of canopy design that provides shelter from the elements will be advantageous. It’ll give students the chance to park their bikes and remove their waterproof clothing before heading into school and turning it into a soggy mess.