Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Central Bedfordshire schools cycle their way to Lapland

Thursday, 23 November 2023

Our lower and primary schools are once again taking part in a Christmas challenge; counting their walking, scooting and cycling trips to school to see if they can travel virtually to Lapland.

This year’s Santa Challenge runs from Monday 27 November to Friday 8 December 2023.

The aim is to reduce the number of cars used on the school run and give pupils the opportunity to learn about the many benefits of ’active travel’ to school alongside the importance of staying safe.

Using a class record sheet, pupils and their teachers will monitor active travel trips to school. All journeys will then be combined to see if each school reached its goal of achieving 2000 miles, the equivalent distance from Central Bedfordshire to Lapland.

The challenge has been running for 10 years now and every year there has been an increase in the number of schools signing up to the challenge. Last year, pupils in Central Bedfordshire collectively walked, scooted or cycled 61,911 times to school during the two-week challenge.

Councillor Tracey Wye, our Executive Member for Sustainability and Climate Resilience, highlighted the Santa Challenge's role in promoting active travel to school:

After successfully attracting external funding, we’re delighted to sponsor the Santa Challenge for the tenth time, which is a fun initiative that can bring serious benefits.

Encouraging walking, cycling, or scooting to school not only benefits health but also reduces congestion at the school gate, making roads safer and less polluted. It's a fun and easy way for families to incorporate daily exercise while improving air quality for the community. The journey to school, even in winter, is a great opportunity to get moving, stay healthy and arrive at school energised and ready to learn.

Find out about the benefits of active travel.