Haringey schools spurred on to encourage pupils to travel to school sustainably

Thursday 6 March 2008

Cllr Santry with Moselle School pupils and Teemu TainioThe efforts of schools across Haringey to improve safety on the roads have been praised during a special celebration day organised by Haringey Council.

The 3rd annual school travel plan celebration event, which took place at Tottenham Hotspur Football Club highlighted Haringey's success in having more approved School Travel Plans than any other London borough.

The government and Transport for London have now approved plans drawn up by more than 80 Haringey primary and secondary schools, with support from the council, to improve road safety and discourage car use.

Pupils from all schools with new plans approved over the past 12 months received awards from Spurs star Teemu Tainio and Cllr Liz Santry, Haringey cabinet member for children and young people.

The children were also given the chance to try out a range of bikes and had a cycle demonstration from RJ Ride Guide.

Meanwhile staff from Haringey Council and Transport for London highlighted the importance of road safety and the range of alternative travel options available to parents and pupils.

Cabinet member for environment and conservation Cllr Brian Haley said:

"Statistics show that up to 20 per cent of traffic on the roads at 8.50am on a school day is parents taking their children to school. Removing that will have a big impact in terms of cutting congestion and improving the environment.

"Very few people in London need to drive their children to school, but I entirely understand that some residents have real concerns for their children's safety on the roads.

"That's why School Travel Plans are such an excellent idea, and why I'm so proud we've got more than anywhere else in London. The plans have led to more walking buses, a wide range of cycling schemes and major road safety improvements. That's helping to reassure parents, cut traffic and improve the borough's environment."

Cllr Santry added:

"I've been really impressed by the enthusiasm shown by schools across Haringey for drawing up school travel plans.

"School staff and their pupils have come up with some really imaginative schemes that will not only improve safety on the roads, but also keep children active by walking or cycling to school.

"I look forward to seeing every Haringey school have a travel plan in place, and to seeing more pupils making their way to school on foot or by bike."

Other schemes in operation in the borough include Walk on Wednesday, through which pupils from around 50 schools walk to school once a week and receive a badge at the end of the month to acknowledge their efforts.

The council is also promoting cycling through two dedicated schemes - Go Bike and Bike It.

Bike It, run by sustainable transport charity Sustrans, involves dedicated officers working with schools to deliver assemblies and workshops, while Go Bike is a pilot scheme by Transport for London where pupils, parents and staff receive small rewards if children cycle to school.

These schemes have led to car journeys to and from school dropping by five per cent since 2005, while walking and cycling have increased by 0.3 per cent and one per cent respectively.

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