The Cherwell School community is actively working to make travel to and from school safer, healthier and more environmentally sustainable.
We are the Number 1 cycling school in the UK! No other school has such a high proportion of students (58.4% and rising) who regularly come to school by bike. Our cycling rate is 20 times the national average. Cherwell has become a benchmark school, a model of good practice in promoting cycling. Among our students, 15.7% travel by bus and 14.8% walk – adding up to a total of 88.9% who use sustainable means of travel, and just 11.1% who come by car.
We strongly discourage dropping students off by car, unless there are special circumstances. We recognise that some students have no alternative but to come by car, but we feel that others may do so because of lack of information about, or lack of confidence in, the available alternatives. We are keen to promote the alternatives and to help students choose more sustainable forms of transport.
Given the large volume of bicycles and pedestrians arriving and leaving the school, there is an increased risk of accidents, especially at the entrances to the South Site and the Rugby Club car park, where in 2017 a student on a bicycle was injured in a collision with a car crossing the cycle path. Marshals will be available at the start and end of the school day to improve safety at the road junctions into the school. School driveways or car parks must not be used under any circumstances during the school day. If on occasion it is absolutely essential to drop off or collect your child by car, we urge you to use the Ferry Leisure Centre car park.
Cycling to school
The following maps can help you to plan a route to the school:
Students are regularly reminded through year-group assemblies and student bulletins to show consideration to pedestrians and non-Cherwell cyclists, and about safety. We consistently urge students to wear helmets, and in year-group assemblies there are annual demonstrations of how important this is. We welcome your support in encouraging your child to wear a helmet every time they cycle. Wearing one yourself sets a good example. It is also really important to regularly check your bike; as a guide here is a Sustrans CHECKLIST and an informative VIDEO to help.
Stuart Meanwell, a Cherwell parent and the owner of SUMMERTOWN CYCLES (200–202 Banbury Road), has kindly agreed to provide members of the Cherwell School community with a 20% discount off the following cycling accessories:
- Locks up to £40
- Lights up to £30
- Helmets up to £40
Cycle racks are kept under surveillance and most but not all of the cycle racks on the South Site are in cages which are locked during the school day. However, Sixth Formers come and go so some areas of the North Site cycle park are kept openly accessible. As elsewhere in Oxford, with large concentrations of cycles, there are occasional thefts. Cherwell students are strongly advised to purchase and use a solid lock and to REGISTER their bicycles.
We are keen to help students improve their cycling skills and are always looking into cycle training options. The THINK campaign offers information and videos on cycle safety as does SUSTRANS, whilst BIKEABILITY is a national cycling proficiency scheme and complements any training pupils may have received in primary school. The Cherwell SCHOOL CYCLING CLUB is a weekly club available for students with an interest in cycling who want to take part in club activities.
Going by bus
The timetables of buses serving The Cherwell School can be found on the bus company websites:
The KEY CARD is a prepaid travel card that can be topped up at any time and can be cancelled and replaced if it is lost, stolen or damaged. Go to one of the Oxford Bus Company’s travel shops (at 89 Gloucester Green or 44–45 High Street) or go online.
We liaise regularly with providers of bus services. If students are experiencing difficulties with bus timetables/routes, do get in touch.
The Highway Code offers information and safety advice for walkers as do the Ramblers. We encourage children to walk together where possible and wear visible clothing in the winter months. Please note: Students are not allowed to cross Marston Ferry Road when moving between North and South sites, but must instead always make use of the subway.
Cherwell Travel Action Group – Get involved!
The Cherwell Travel Action Group (CTAG) is a small, friendly group comprising parents, a teacher and a councillor. We meet once every term to discuss how to make travel to and from school safer and more environmentally sustainable. We aim in particular to promote cycling, walking and bus transport; reduce the risk of accidents; and enable students and teachers to park their bicycles safely and securely.
Over the years, CTAG has:
- helped parents plan their travel routes to school and responded to travel-related concerns
- organised cycle skills training and promoted safety around large vehicles/buses
- liaised with bus companies regarding services and routes
- secured bike racks and discounts on cycle accessories
- secured the painting of a dividing line on the Marston Ferry Road cycle path
- supported a parent petition to get the County Council to agree to pre-treat (grit) the Marston Ferry Road cycle path if snow is expected, and to clear it afterwards
- supplied discounted reflective accessories and lights to students.
All members of the school community are welcome to attend, and we would love some more people in the group. Are you interested in being involved? We recognise that people are busy and have differing amounts of time and energy to spare. If you can’t come to meetings, we can email you meeting notes and updates by email and involve you in our activities and planning.
Meetings usually take place early evening and are arranged around the availability of group members.
Location: Meeting room next to training room, North Site library (entrance next to North Site reception).
If you would like to be involved, receive more information or come along to a meeting, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org