Walking back to healthiness

Good to see that a record number of schools in Bath & North East Somerset have become sustainable travel stars and clinched top awards for reducing the number of cars being used on the school run and encouraging healthy lifestyles.

Modeshift STARS recognises and rewards schools that have shown excellence in promoting walking, cycling and other forms of travelling sustainably.

Bathampton Primary School today (8 October) became the first school in the area to be presented with a gold award. Since 2017, 22 schools across the district have achieved bronze, silver or gold Modeshift STARS Awards with seven more being awarded this summer.

Photo: (centre) Councillor Joanna Wright, cabinet member for Transport Services and (centre-right) Councillor Kevin Guy, cabinet member for Children’s Services, with staff and pupils at Bathampton Primary School

Councillor Joanna Wright, joint cabinet member for Transport Services, said: “I am delighted that so many schools have already been able to achieve Modeshift STARS awards this year, including a rare gold for Bathampton Primary. Any schools not currently taking part in Modeshift STARS but who would like to gain recognition for supporting sustainable travel should get in touch with our School Travel Plan Officer.”

Roundhill Primary became the third school in Bath & North East Somerset to be recognised with a silver award this year and other schools in the district achieved their first bronze award, including Mulberry Park Educate Together Primary, Widcombe Infants, Westfield Primary, Chandag Infants, Chew Stoke Primary, St Andrews Primary and Swainswick Primary.

Councillor Sarah Warren, cabinet member for Climate Emergency, said: “The Climate Emergency needs a wide ranging approach to tackle the problems that we face. Parents and school staff are leading the way in changing behaviour and the way that we travel, and the growing number of schools achieving awards is evidence of their commitment to a healthier future.”

Some of the inspiring initiatives carried out by schools this year include parents and staff at Widcombe Infants and Combe Down Primary working with the council on a walking bus. As a result, the council has put together a comprehensive toolkit which can help other schools to do the same.

For more information on Modeshift STARS (Sustainable Travel Accreditation and Recognition), visit https://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/streets-and-highway-maintenance/road-safety/school-crossing-patrols/safer-routes-school