WHEN pupils at Great Berry Primary School, in Laindon, return to school after the summer break, they will be able to park their BMX’s in a plush new bike shed.

The outdoor shed has been built at the school to cater for a huge surge in the number of youngsters who want to cycle to school.

The facility has enough space to accommodate the 60 children at the school who now regularly pedal their way to classes – compared to just eight cyclists at the beginning of the school year.

More pupils have been inspired to get on their bikes after representatives from the Bike It scheme visited the school and worked with pupils, to improve their cycle safety.

The scheme was headed by the transport organisation Sustrans, which works in partnership with Essex County Council to raise the profile of cycling in 18 schools across the Basildon district.

Money for the scheme came from the Big Lottery Fund.

Basildon councillor Sandra Hillier was invited along to the school, in Forest Glade, to officially open the facility during a special ceremony.

Sustrans Bike It officer for Basildon, Anna Hughes, said: “I’m so impressed at the dedication from pupils, teachers and parents at Great Berry Primary.

“We’ve seen a massive response to the events we’ve run at this school, with 130 pupils cycling to school for an event last week.

“I hope many of these will become regular cyclists, and the new storage will help. It is vital to ensure each child has a safe place to secure their bike, which also helps to give parents peace of mind.”

There will be more free cycle safety sessions taking place at the school from July 26 to 28 and from August 2 to 4, which are open to all youngsters. Call 01268 297591 for more details.