Schools a star attraction for reducing traffic

A pair of Wigan Borough schools have been recognised for their work reducing school traffic, creating safer and healthier environments for their pupils.

St John’s Primary in Abram and St Mary’s Primary in Platt Bridge have both been awarded ‘Very Good’ (formerly known as Silver) in the Modeshift STARS scheme.

This national scheme helps schools to create travel plans, encouraging their pupils to arrive by foot, bike or scooter.

Councillor Paul Prescott, cabinet portfolio holder for planning, environmental services and transport, said: “Wigan Borough is the only area in Greater Manchester to have schools who have achieved “Very Good”- and we have two!

“By walking, cycling or scooting to school, these families are reducing congestion, improving air quality outside local schools, and helping to make our roads safer and it was particularly special to recognise this fantastic work during Road Safety Week.

“It was a real privilege to present these awards, and the balance bike package that each school also received.”

Councillor Jenny Bullen, cabinet portfolio holder for children and families, added: “A huge congratulations must go to these two schools. This recognition shows a real commitment to getting their pupils travelling actively to school.

“This is not just great for our environment, it’s great for local children. Getting moving on the way to school keeps the whole family fit and active, and means children arrive ready to learn for the day.”

Gillian Talbot, Headteacher at St Mary’s, said: “We are very proud of our children and their parents for achieving the silver Modeshift Stars award. We have worked hard to reduce the number of cars coming to school each day through the Living Streets Walk to School Challenge and our children love to collect the badges each month.

“Preventing poor parking around the school site remains a real challenge so we will continue to promote greener ways to travel to school and aim for our gold award.

“Our biggest thanks go to Mrs Smith, our PSHE lead, who has inspired us to achieve this award and provided us with a wonderful curriculum that helps our children to stay safe.”

Rachel Scott, Active Travel Manager at Transport for Greater Manchester, said: “Walking, wheeling or cycling to school can reduce the number of cars on the road at drop-off and pick-up times and promote health-boosting benefits for young people and their parents or carers.

“The Modeshift STARS scheme is a great way to get children thinking about how they travel to school and the impact it can have on their local environment.

“Congratulations to the pupils of St John’s Primary and St Mary’s Primary on their awards and for promoting active ways of getting around. I’d encourage other schools to follow their lead and consider signing up for Modeshift too, as the scheme is available to schools across Greater Manchester.”

If any schools would like to get involved in the initiative, they can register at Modeshift STARS (external link) and support is available through the council’s road safety team at [email protected].

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