SCHOOLCHILDREN are pedalling to success after being given a top award for cycling excellence.

Cycling charity Sustrans runs an awards scheme to highlight schools’ commitment to cycling and the Wey Valley School in Weymouth is the first in Dorset to get the prestigious Silver Mark.

So many are now cycling to the school at Broadwey that there is hardly any room to park in the bike sheds.

Children, teachers and parents were congratulated for their efforts as a certificate and plaque were presented. A bike pump was also installed near the shelters.

Finance and business manager at Wey Valley Rob Cole said about 20 per cent of students (150-170) were regularly arriving at school by bike, plus a number of staff members too.

He said the school run by bike had been made easier through improvements made on campus, along Dorchester Road and around Weymouth Relief Road. This had helped the number of students getting on their bikes to ‘increase dramatically’.

Cycling is important in PE and other school projects too and some students are competing at national level.

Sustrans schools officer Jonathan Dixon, who presented the award yesterday with local county councillor Mark Tewkesbury, said it was ‘fantastic’ to see the school do so much to promote cycling in a safe way.

The charity works with over 30 schools in the area, in partnership with Dorset County Council, to help pupils and parents overcome the barriers preventing them cycling to school.

Sustrans’ School Mark recognises and supports schools’ excellence in active and sustainable travel. It enables them to be beacons of best practice and has three progressive levels for schools to work through – bronze, silver and gold.

Silver is awarded to a school that continues to demonstrate its commitment to promoting active and sustainable travel.

Mr Dixon said: “Cycling is good for students’ health, confidence and independence and it makes them better learners in the classroom too.”