Cycle safety first with BikeSafeBute

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For the second year running, Bute is leading the way in promoting community road safety with an event which is a great example of genuine community care for the younger generation.

BikeSafeBute is a joint community, business and council initiative to educate young people in road and cycling safety through engagement, fun and rewarding activities.

Co-ordinated by Active Schools, it is supported by Strathclyde Police, Argyll & Bute Council; local businesses The Bike Shed and Picture Bute, and community organsiations Bute Community Council and Project Playpark.

The initiative was trialled last year and proved a great success, receiving enthusiastic community support and raising awareness of road safety issues not only for young people, but for motorists also.

A member of the Bute community generously donated £375 to enable BikeSafeBute to run a cycling proficiency competition across the island’s three primary schools and three pre-schools. Last year’s trial of the competition was made possible by a donation of £300 from the same benefactor.

The donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “Cycling was very important to me in my younger life and I still believe it should play a part in this hi-tech world of the young generation.

“Fortunately we have a growing number of people on the island who appear to share my view. Pedal on.”

Each school has received £80 for taking part in the competition, which will go towards resources encouraging road safety awareness.

The younger children were asked to create the design of a helmet, and the older children asked to design a leaflet, with each design reflecting their ideas of cycling and road safety.

One winner and one runner up was selected from each primary school (one from the P1-P3 category, and one from the P4-P7 category) and each winner will receive a £40 voucher for The Bike Shed toward road safety accessories.

One winner was selected from each pre-school and each will receive a £10 voucher. The pre-schools have each received £20 for taking part.

Of the winning leaflets, one overall winner has been selected to be reproduced and distributed among all of the island’s schools next term, sponsored by The Bike Shed and Picture Bute, as part of BikeSafeBute’s commitment to heightening road safety awareness throughout the year.

The winning entries were selected by a panel of three judges (pictured left): local journalist Angela Haggerty, PC Louise Steven of Strathclyde Police and member of the community, Mike Blair.

The winners will be announced at a prizegiving ceremony in Rothesay Joint Campus, hosted by Bute’s own favourite family entertainer, Big Dougie, on Thursday, June 2 at 11am.

Active Schools co-ordinator Niall Marshall said: “The popularity of cycling on Bute is obvious. Active Schools encourage pupils and staff to cycle to school and are therefore delighted to be part of the exciting new BikeSafeBute initiative.

“This unique campaign demonstrates the Bute community’s commitment to the safety of its children.”