Student dynamos power ‘Bicycle’ cinema project

Students have built their own pedal-powered cinema to launch a new film project led by the charity Sustrans, in which the bicycle will be star of the show.

VIP guests at Mid Cheshire College’s first pedal-powered movie included Warrington’s Paralympian gold medal winnerAdrian Derbyshire and documentary film maker Stuart MacLean. The audience enjoyed a screening of Maclean’s ‘Bicycle: The Film’ and discussed how the simple bicycle could improve transport problems in their own area.

Students are working with Sustrans officer Stewart Walsh to produce a series of short films about the bicycle as a form of transport to their college. They will research the local history of cycling, the types of transport now used in the area, and how this affects the nearby community. The finished films will be shown on a pedal powered cinema and students are asked to travel by bicycle, on foot or public transport while carrying out their research

Mid Cheshire College is based at Hartford, a campus near Northwich which includes 12 schools and colleges for around 4000 children of all ages, most of whom travel by car. Hartford campus experiences such high levels of traffic that at peak times some school staff have to escort children safely across the road.

The movie project is part of a series of events promoting active travel in Hartford and there will be three cycling festivals on the campus organised by Sustrans on 29 September, 6 and 13 October. These events will give the students the chance to try out a variety of cycling innovations as well as meeting community cycling champions and organisations.

Project officer Stewart Walsh said: “By making their own films about people on bikes they are raising awareness of active travel and questioning current modes of transport. Hartford campus has high levels of traffic, which creates issues for families’ health and wellbeing. If more people walked or cycled to school or college it would be a much better environment for everyone.”