Leswalt is the best in Scotland

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A Stranraer school has won the small primary school category of the UK’s largest inter-school cycling and scooting competition, run by charity Sustrans.

The Big Pedal, which took place from March 3-14, is an annual inter-school competition run by Sustrans and funded by BikeHub.

Leswalt Primary wheeled into first place in Scotland in the small primary category and second overall in the UK.

The Big Pedal has been running for five years, and this year a record number of entrants made more than one million school journeys – covering over 1,600,000 miles.

Leswalt made an amazing 32,442 journeys and Sheila Baillie, headteacher, said: “We are delighted to achieve success in this national competition. The success of Leswalt Primary was due to the real community effort – from pre-school toddlers arriving on trikes to parents cycling over five miles to school with their children. It was a real wee team effort.

“I did not have far to cycle to work, so I really appreciate the effort put in by all of my pupils and parents. I am so proud of them all.”

Charity Sustrans hopes that the success of the competition will prompt more families to make the journey to school without the car.

Malcolm Shepherd, chief executive of Sustrans, said: “It’s fantastic that so many schools took part and the fact that over a million journeys were made shows families can change the way they travel if they choose to.

“Everyday millions of children across the UK are driven to primary school, even though most families live an average of just 1.8 miles from their school. It’s a distance which takes just 20 minutes to bike or scoot.”

“When cycling and scooting are incorporated into daily routines they can play a vital role in improving the health and wellbeing of our children. We need to do more to encourage families to do the school run the healthy way.”