Youngsters are being encouraged to get in the saddle and cycle to school in a bid to reduce pollution in Poulton.
Wyre Council is working with every school in the town to reduce the number of car journeys being made as part of an effort to improve air quality.
The authority’s Shaping Your Neighbourhood project has £10,000 to deliver a ‘reward scheme’ for primary school pupils, which consists of youngsters receiving a badge if they walk to school at least once a week.
In a second strand to the scheme, older pupils attending Poulton’s two high schools will be taught the benefits of cycling and walking to school in workshops delivered by Lancashire County Council.
And the safety of those getting on their bikes will be improved when cycleways and footpaths in the town are made more accessible with £15,000 of funding from the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
Pete Hyland, headteacher of Poulton St Chad’s Primary School, on Hardhorn Road, said: “We have got to do what we can. Our school is on a very busy road with large parking issues, so for children to walk to school is a great thing to encourage. If they do have to come in by car we try and push them to walk the last half mile.
“It has benefits to fitness and their understanding of road safety.”
Dawn Taylor, community co-ordinator at Hodgson High School, on Moorland Road, added: “One of the big things here is the health of our students, so anything that encourages them to walk or exercise on their way to school is a major benefit and it’s all a part of personal development.”
Michael Ryan, director of People and Places at Wyre Council, said: “By working with young people to promote the personal and environmental benefits of walking, cycling, public transport or car sharing, we hope to change people’s travel habits where possible, leading to fewer car journeys, less congestion and cleaner air.”