Schools in East Antrim are rising to the Translink Eco-Schools’ Travel Challenge to cut down on car congestion at school gates and help boost pupil health and wellbeing
Seven schools in the region are currently registered for the 2016-17 Schools’ Travel Challenge - Ulidia Integrated College, Carrickfergus Model Primary, and Whitehead Primary, in Carrickfergus; Templepatrick Primary, Fairview Primary and Ballyclare Primary; and, Corran Integrated Primary in Larne.
The two-week Translink Eco-Schools Travel Challenge promotes walking, cycling, bus and train travel for the school run instead of car use. It incorporates curriculum-linked resources and encourages schools to develop sustainable travel plans as a way to achieve the internationally recognised Eco-Schools Green Flag Award.Translink’s Ursula Henderson says, “More and more schools are taking up the Translink Eco-Schools Travel Challenge and making ‘smart moves’ for the journey to school. Last year, 36 schools successfully completed the challenge recording more than 13,427 sustainable journeys. There was a real shift away from car use; 60% of the journeys made during the Challenge were sustainable compared to 41% beforehand.
“We want to build on this success and attract even more challenge participants in 2016/17. We’re encouraging schools to visit www.translink.co.uk/ecoschools/ to download a range of engaging Key Stage One to Three travel challenge classroom resources and get started! We also want to highlight the positive health benefits of active travel modes. Independent research shows that people who use sustainable transport for the journey to and from work have a significantly lower BMI.” Deadline for completed entries is May 22.