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Sustainable transport and the Carrbridge ‘bike bus’

By Sjoerd Tel on 21st September, 2023

Sustainable Transport Officer

Transport and travel are really important topics for the National Park, if we want to be more sustainable, we need to change how people get about and offer real alternatives to always using a car. That could mean improving public places and facilities or encouraging active travel. As part of the Cairngorms 2030 programme, we have been speaking to residents about how they currently get about – which is how we heard about the ‘bike bus’ in Carrbridge.

An adult and three children cycling through Carrbridge as part of the Carrbridge Primary School 'bike bus'.
An adult and children cycling through Carrbridge as part of the Carrbridge Primary School ‘bike bus’.

I connected with parents at Carrbridge Primary School to find out more about the ‘bike bus’ they organise on a regular basis. A ‘bike bus’ is the name given to a group of children who cycle to school together, accompanied by adults. Such an organised ride not only provides safety in numbers and physical activity, but it also fosters a sense of community amongst both the children and the parents. It was no surprise to find out that the children love it! It was great to learn that everyone was getting so much out of it. Parents explained there are still some dangerous road sections, and measures to slow the traffic and make more space for cycling would make it a better experience. Nonetheless, they would wholeheartedly encourage others to join and have some great advice for people at other schools to start their own groups.

The Carrbridge Primary bike bus is a great example of what a group of active parents can achieve; initiatives like this show how things can be done with limited budget and support. Anyone who would like to know more about successfully running a school bike bus can contact the school directly via email at [email protected].

Adults and children cycling through Carrbridge as part of the Carrbridge Primary School 'bike bus'.
The Carrbridge Primary School ‘bike bus’.

So, how can we encourage more people to cycle? This can be a challenge, as some do not think of themselves as cyclists or would love to cycle but feel scared in traffic. Others may not have access to a bike or equipment such as lights or a helmet. It is also easy to forget that people need space at home and work to park and store their bikes safely and out of the elements.

We are aware of these challenges and want to help and support people to cycle. In the years ahead, we will increasingly focus on this, finding out where we can have the most impact and can provide support if we are not involved in delivering change ourselves.

Bikes parked at Carrbridge Primary School under a sign that reads 'we are a cycling friendly school.'
Bikes parked at Carrbridge Primary School.

The Cairngorms 2030 programme is supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund thanks to National Lottery players and Places for Everyone, an active travel infrastructure programme funded by the Scottish Government and administered by Sustrans.

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