Hackney pupils in Euro project to replace school-run cars with bikes
What have children in Hackney, Budapest, Milan and Madrid got in common? They’re all gearing up to get pedalling this school year in a Euro-wide project.
Schools across the borough are asking children and their parents to swap their cars for bikes as part of the STARS (Sustainable Travel Accreditation and Recognition for Schools) scheme.
Hackney is one of nine European areas – also including Edinburgh,Krakow, Province of Noord Brabant, Brussels and Bielefeld - taking part in the second year of the project which aims to improve pupils’ health and ease congestion and vehicle emissions.
Twenty-three Hackney schools took part last year and saw a 39 per cent increase in cycling levels, compared to just two per cent increase for non-STARS schools. More than 30 Hackney schools are already signed up for this year.
Journeys to and from school by car account for a large proportion of travel made by households and contribute to some of the challenges that our cities are facing, such as congestion and emissions. The school run is generally less than 5km so there’s no excuse not to ditch the car for bike or foot!
This year’s project launch coincides with European Mobility Week, marked by cities all over the Continent with events and promotions on greener travel.
Also, this week Strider, the friendly walking mascot from charity Living Streets, has been visiting schools in Hackney to encourage both walking and cycling.
Strider will be presenting Millfields Primary School with the prestigious Golden Shoe Trophy for its exceptional work in promoting and increasing levels of walking to school.
European Mobility Week, which runs from 16 to 22 September every year, aims to encourage local authorities to introduce and promote greener transport as alternatives to car use.
Hackney Council will be holding or promoting a series of initiatives during the week, including free walk-in cycling training
(www.hackney.gov.uk/cycle-training) and the Car Free Day street party in the Narrow Way on Saturday, 27 September.