Guernsey Press

New bike shelters are the Pride of St Martin’s

Success in the annual Guernsey Press Pride of Guernsey Awards has helped put smiles on the faces of pupils who ride to St Martin's School.

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No more wet bike seats for pupils at St Martins Primary School when the new covered shelters are in place as the current ones are open to the elements and often overcrowded. Among the students welcoming them are, left to right, Rosie Mauger and Amelia Hughes, both 11, and Zachary Newstead, 9. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 32922134)

It has received planning permission for seven new bike shelters, which have been funded by the prize for the Sustainability Award the school won last October, and donations from the PTA and Health Improvement Commission.

Last year it was confirmed that Route des Coutures outside the school would remain closed to general traffic at peak drop-off and pick-up times for the next school year.

Parent Lindsay de Sausmarez said that during summer months the existing bike racks outside almost every door and gate around the school were full to bursting.

Students Amelia Hughes, 11, Rosie Mauger, 11, and Zachary Newstead, 9, were all excited for the new shelters to arrive.

‘There’s not enough room for all of us in Year 6 so the new bike shelters will be good,’ said Amelia.

Rosie said students had been leaving their bikes leaning against the walls around the school, which did not look good.

Zachary said the lack of bike sheds sometimes resulted in wet seats.

‘Over 90% of our families walk, scoot or ride to school,’ said head teacher Clare Giles.

‘There has been a significant increase in the number of cyclists in particular, and parents and pupils requested covered bike shelters to replace the open bike racks we currently have.’

‘St Martin’s Primary has been exemplary in leading the way to encourage families to travel actively to and from school,’ said the Health Improvement Commission’s active travel officer Alex Costen.

‘Children who choose to cycle deserve high quality facilities for their bikes so we are really pleased to see the investment in the shelters and to contribute financially.’

Traffic & Highway Services road safety officer Paul James said St Martin’s, Amherst, Le Murier, Le Rondin and St Sampson’s High School were also in the process of receiving upgraded facilities.

‘We are in constant and ongoing discussions with all schools about how to improve access to school sites for pedestrians and cyclists,’ he said.

He said that THS did not fund the shelters directly, but did assist the school by sourcing them, and covered shipping logistics and charges.

Some primary schools including Vale and Castel have upgraded their shelters through the Integrated Transport Strategy.