Aberdeen school is first to recieve national cycling award

 Pupils in Aberdeen have been given a prestigious award for their commitment to a national cycling programme.

Aberdeen's Hazlehead Academy is the first secondary school in the city to have been awarded Cycle Friendly Secondary School status.

Cycle Friendly School Award rewards secondary schools, teachers and volunteers committed to increasing cycling to, from and around schools.

Aberdeen City Council Education and Children's Services convener Councillor Angela Taylor said: "We are proud to have a school where pupils, parents and volunteers are so enthusiastic about this cycling programme.

"Enabling young people to cycle to school in a safe manner with proper equipment encourages them to be active and aware of their own health and fitness.

"Cycling is a fantastic mode of transport which also helps to reduce traffic congestion on our roads and decreases the carbon emissions count."

To achieve the award, schools must show commitment to cycling by providing facilities such as bicycle parking, changing facilities and Bikeability Scotland cycle training.

Hazlehead Academy impressed by implementing measures such as creating a school travel plan, including creating safe routes to school from each of the Academy's four feeder primary schools.

S3 pupils took part in the Go Mountain Bike programme, with the help of Adventure Aberdeen, while safe cycle parking was put in place, including a special cycle rack commemorating the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Cycling Scotland development officer Paul Wright said: "It's been great working with Hazlehead Academy and I congratulate them on becoming the first Cycle Friendly Secondary School in Aberdeen.

"The school has demonstrated a real commitment to getting more people cycling to and from school.

"Cycling is a sociable and healthy way to travel and Cycling Scotland is delighted that the staff, students and volunteers at Hazlehead Academy have embraced cycling in such a positive way."

The award has been developed by Cycling Scotland with the aim of promoting cycling to school as a pleasant, healthy and economical travel choice.

Cycling Scotland offers guidance on travel planning and providing cycling facilities and helps to create a culture of cycling within the school community.

To find out more and register to become a Cycle Friendly School, visit www.cyclefriendlyschool.org.