School scheme to help travel issues

Launch of a new bike scheme by Thetford Academy. Kids will get discounts and vouchers for the Green Ventures Bike Shop.''FL;
Launch of a new bike scheme by Thetford Academy. Kids will get discounts and vouchers for the Green Ventures Bike Shop.''FL;

A SCHOOL is hoping to ease parents’ fears over travel issues by helping pupils get back on two wheels.

Last Friday, Thetford Academy joined forces with NHS Norfolk and Waveney and the Green Ventures Bike Shop to offer funding to students to help them buy a new or recycled bicycle with discounts for accessories and repairs.

Cathy Spillane, principal, said she hoped the Subsidised Bike Purchase Scheme would make it easier for students to access the school when it moved to a single site set-up next September.

“We are aware of concern from some parents about the increased journey for their children in travelling across town to our North Campus, so we are pleased to be able to provide some help to pupils to buy a bike or safety equipment.

“The academy has already provided support by subsidising a bus service and this partnership initiative will provide students with an alternative means to get to school and promote healthy living,” she said.

Pupils will get 10 per cent off new bikes from Green Ventures Bike Shop and 25 per cent off accessories and repairs.

Vouchers of £50 will be given to students entitled to free school meals towards the cost of buying a bike, funded jointly by the academy and NHS Norfolk and Waveney.

Sheila Childerhouse, chairman of NHS Norfolk and Waveney, said the scheme would also help pupils to stay in shape.

“I cycle regularly and know it keeps me fitter, as well as being a great way to travel.

“If I was one of the pupils I’d be taking up the offer and if I was still teaching I’d want to take up the offer, too,” she said.

Green Ventures Bike Shop is run by Keystone Development Trust, and chief executive, Neil Stott, said there was a range of options for pupils.

“We assemble the bike for you and make sure every bike is ready to go. The more we can promote safe and healthy cycling the better.”