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Walk, Cycle or Scoot to School

by Haddenham Webteam – 31st August 2023
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school kids on scooters03walk to school

With families preparing for the start of the new school year, Buckinghamshire Council is encouraging more people to make their journey to and from school more sustainable.

Steven Broadbent, Cabinet Member for Transport explained: "Many people already use alternatives to the car to take their children to and from school, but we want to make sure that everyone is aware of the huge benefits using a more sustainable form of transport can have. Choosing to walk, cycle or scoot to school is good not only for your own health but also better for the environment."

The council's Sustainable Transport Team works with schools across the county to help them create their own School Travel Plans to promote and encourage active, safe and sustainable travel for school journeys. Schools are encouraged to sign up to the national Modeshift STARS accreditation programme which recognises and rewards schools and other organisations that have shown excellence in supporting sustainable and active travel. Currently 65 schools in Buckinghamshire have a Modeshift STARS accreditation, ranging from the starter level Green award up to a Platinum award for outstanding achievement.

Even for those who have no alternative to the car for school journeys, there are still things you can do to make a difference. Steven explained: "We know that alternatives to the car are not always possible but simply by turning your engine off when waiting for your children to come out of school at the end of the day, you are helping reduce potentially harmful pollutants. Alternatively, you could try parking a bit further away from school and walking the last part of the journey. This can help with fitness and also avoid traffic congestion outside the school gates."

Encouraging more people to switch to greener forms of travel is a key element of Buckinghamshire Council's Climate Change and Air Quality Strategy which aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Rough calculations show that for an average sized car, travelling a distance of one mile to school each day and one mile home again, over the course of the school year, the level of CO2 emissions created in one year would be around 100kg. Choosing to adopt an active form of travel such as walking, cycling or scooting instead, would save this amount, which equates to the same weight as a newborn baby elephant.

Parents can make a commitment to follow the Parent's Parking Promise. Those who sign up to the pledge get a sticker to put in their car window. The promise encourages people to think more carefully about where they park for school drop offs, avoiding zig zag lines directly outside school and being mindful of not blocking pavements for other families, including those with buggies and wheelchairs or mobility scooters.

For more information on sustainable school travel, visit the council website where you can also find out more about the Buckinghamshire Climate Change and Air Quality Strategy.

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