Top marks for Beggs in school cycle challenge

Published on Tuesday 7 February 2012 17:50

EAST Antrim MLA Roy Beggs has cycled off with top marks after being subjected to a biking challenge by a panel of primary school children.

The politician was delighted to be awarded 10 out of 10 by the junior judges who said they were impressed with his ability to manoeuvre his bike round the challenge course and to recall the correct rules of the road for cyclists.

Mr Beggs was taking part in a visit by the Assemblys Committee for Regional Development to Gilnahirk Primary School in east Belfast to find out about the Bike It programme.

The programme is being delivered in a number of schools in Northern Ireland by the sustainable transport charity, Sustrans.

Mr Beggs said the challenge brought back childhood memories for him. I have fond memories of doing my cycle proficiency test when I was at school many years ago, and its great to see these children getting enthused about bikes and learning how to cycle safely, he said.

The Northern Ireland Executive has included a target for increasing the proportion of children who walk and cycle to school in its Draft Programme for Government.

Steven Patterson, Northern Ireland Director of Sustrans, indicated the Committees visit was particularly timely in the light of the target. Encouraging active school travel creates a win win for everyone; it improves pupils health and fitness, it reduces rush hour congestion and carbon emissions, and it helps families to save on petrol costs, he said.

Were really pleased that the Committee for Regional Development has highlighted the potential for increasing active school travel through this visit. We hope it will be possible to roll out the Sustrans Bike It programme to many more schools across Northern Ireland in the near future.

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