Bike It

It’s official – cycling is cool! That certainly seems to be the opinion of increasing numbers of school children in Ashford, who are finding out how much fun cycling to school can be with the help of Kent Highway Services and the Bike It project managed by sustainable transport charity Sustrans.

Since March 2007, Kent Highway Services have been supporting Simon Allum, a Bike It Officer, who works with staff and children at twelve schools in Ashford to encourage them to cycle to school. Simon devises a whole program of biking events that are tailored to the particular school, and those are a great addition to the cycle training that Kent Highway Services road safety team already offers.

The emphasis is obviously on safety, so the Bike It program offers Dr Bike sessions to check the road-worthiness of bicycles, and plotting safe cycling routes has formed the basis of classroom activities. Parents are encouraged to join in too by cycling to school with their children and enjoying a bike breakfast as a reward!

Image, as everyone knows, amongst children and young people is everything and it will play an important part in the success of this project, so there are competitions to ‘bling your bike’ and plans to work with a major beauty products manufacturer to help teenage girls ride with style!

The scheme certainly seems to be proving popular and Kent Highway Services are watching it carefully as there is a possibility that another Bike It officer could be employed elsewhere in Kent in the near future. There is evidence of the scheme’s success across the country, with participating schools in UK towns and cities achieving cycling levels ten times the national average – bucking the trend in declining numbers of children cycling to school.

Bike It is a nationwide scheme, managed by Sustrans. Nationally the project is funded by Cycling England and the cycle industry, locally Bike It is supported by Kent Highways Services.

If you want to get involved, you can find out more by emailing

To find out more about cycling in Kent, please visit the Kent Highway Services website at