A WEE COUNTY secondary school has been awarded a grant which will go towards changing the way the community views its travel habits.

Lornshill Academy has been handed £50,000 to set up an Active Travel Hub at the school from the Smarter Choices, Smarter Places Open Fund in conjunction with Paths for All and Transport Scotland.

The money will go towards appointing a member of staff who will co-ordinate the efforts to improve people's everyday travel habits with an aim of increasing the amount of pupils who walk and cycle to school.

Stuart Steele, the head of design and technology at the school, told the Advertiser the new staff member will work closely with Falkirk Active Travel Hub to set up the school's own variation.

He said: "The member of staff will be responsible to get a shift in beliefs at travel choices, and it is for the whole community.

"Most pupils will take the bus to school, or be dropped off by a parent. We should see an uptake in different travel choices.

"We will also look to upskill the community and educate the community about their travel choices."

When in place, the co-ordinator, will firstly carry out baseline surveys to develop an understanding of current travel choices in order to work out where improvements can be made.

In addition, the school intends to begin a step counting challenge for pupils in S1 to S3, with pedometers provided for those who don't have smartphones.

Stuart added that there will be many more projects which will come further down the line thanks to the money, which was the maximum any organisation could be granted.

The school is also in the process of setting up a dedicated bike academy, although this is from the pupil equity fund rather than the open fund.

Other than the health benefits, Stuart said the bike academy will teach pupils a number of key life skills, such as teamwork and bike maintenance.

He said: "They [pupils] will learn about teamwork and other skills by working with the bikes.

"The bikes will also need to be maintained which the pupils can help with.

"The co-ordinator will be starting to offer bike technician provision after going on a course.

"The kids will then be able to go out and learn outside in a different environment.

"There will also be spin offs that we don't even know about yet."