YORK schools have been praised for their achievements in getting active and cutting pollution.

A total of 21 city schools took part in the Big Pedal, the UK’s largest cycling competition for schools, run by cycling charity Sustrans in April and May.

More than 23,500 journeys were completed by bike or scooter in the region during the two-week competition.

The pupils were part of more than half a million children who pedalled or walked to school in the UK.

Among the schools earning praise across a number of categories were Archbishop of York’s CE Junior School, Clifton Green Primary, Copmanthorpe Primary, Skelton Community Primary, St Aelred’s RC Primary, St Barnabas CE Primary, St Paul’s CE Primary and York High School.

It is estimated that across Yorkshire children who cycled, scooted and walked to school during the Big Pedal prevented the release of 115.3kg of Nitrogen Oxide (NOx), based on Sustrans' figures for average journey times completed by car.

Nationwide, the event prevented 1,179kg of NOx being released and helped reduce traffic congestion around participating schools.

Sustrans North of England director, Rosslyn Colderley, said: “We’re delighted that so many schools in York took part. Events like this demonstrate how easy it is to walk, cycle or scoot to school.

“We hope that everyone who participated will continue to travel actively as this will play a huge role in improving air quality and will protect future generations for years to come.”

For more information and a list of the overall winners of the Big Pedal initiative go to https://bigpedal.org.uk or search for Sustrans on Twitter or Facebook.