The Safe Routes to School programme (SRTS) is helping students to cycle to school by providing bike parking spaces and shelters to 285 schools nationwide in 2022. Of the schools who will receive the new infrastructure, 46 schools are Round 1 on the SRTS programme.
To celebrate, SRTS visited a diverse range of schools to meet students and school staff and learn how their newly installed bike parking has supported them to travel to school by bike.
Our first visit was to St. Kevin’s N.S in Wicklow. They are a Round 1 school on the SRTS programme and received their bike shelter in 2021. Of the 500 students in the school, on average 70 students were cycling to school on a regular basis. The school had several overflowing bike parking spaces and needed more cycle parking infrastructure. St. Kevin’s N.S have since increased their cycling numbers with the delivery of their new sheltered bike parking stand and students now have a secure and sheltered place to park their bike.
St. Fiachra’s J.N.S in Beaumont registered their interest in participating in SRTS and were selected for Round 1 of the programme in 2021. At that time, of the 660 students in the school, on average 12 students were cycling to school on a regular basis. After applying for SRTS funded bike parking, the school received their bike shelter in 2021. During our morning visit, SRTS Officers observed that the number of students arriving to school by bike has since doubled and more students are actively travelling to school.
Our final school visit was to Loreto Secondary School in Kilkenny. They are a Round 1 school on the SRTS programme and also received their bike shelter in 2021. At the time of applying for bike parking, five of the 1,038 students in the school were cycling to school on a regular basis. Cycling rates have since increased and arriving to school by bike is enjoyed by both the students and a number of staff members who now have a secure and sheltered place to park their bike. The school are heavily involved in the #andshecycles Ambassador programme, where the students are running their own campaign to encourage and support more girls to cycle to school.
Since the beginning of the Green-Schools Travel programme in 2008, a total of 11,270 cycle parking spaces and 511 cycle parking shelters have been installed at 646 school across Ireland.
In addition bike parking is funded as part of the Safe Routes to School programme, which was launched in March 2021. The programme is an initiative of the Department of Transport and supported by the Department of Education. It is operated by the Green-Schools Programme in partnership with the National Transport Authority and the local authorities.