Back to school doesn’t have to mean back to the car – with schools set to reopen on Monday 8 March Nottingham City Council is encouraging families to walk, cycle or scoot their school journeys and be part of a green recovery from Covid-19.
Apart from being better for health, active travel is better for our environment too, reducing air pollution caused by vehicle exhaust fumes – meaning everyone can breathe cleaner air and enjoy a more pleasant, and safer, journey.
The City Council is working with charities Sustrans and Living Streets to offer support to schools in the city, helping them to develop sustainable travel plans, with grants available to install cycle racks or other items to encourage more active travel.
The council’s road safety team can also help schools sign up for Modeshift STARS – a free, national award scheme which recognises schools that have demonstrated excellence in supporting sustainable travel, with the aim of improving the health and well-being of children and young people.
Last year, the council introduced several ‘school street’ trials, preventing cars from accessing the roads immediately outside school gates to create a safer environment for people social distancing. Six trials will continue to run when schools reopen, with consultation set to start soon on additional schemes.
Councillor Adele Williams, Portfolio Holder for Transport, said: “One of the few positives we can take from the Covid-19 pandemic is that so many people have reconnected with what’s on their doorstep. We’ve discovered local walks and how beneficial it is to spend time outdoors and use the car less.
“By making your journey to and from school your daily walk or bike ride, we can all help toward a green recovery from Covid-19 – reducing harmful emissions and improving our air quality. Removing those shorter car journeys from our roads will also help the city achieve its ambition to become the first carbon neutral city in the UK.”
The benefits of walking and cycling to our physical and mental health have never been more proven than in the last year. Studies show children are more likely to be active when their parents are, so there’s no better time to get into the habit of leaving the car at home and travelling more actively.
For those who live too far away to walk or cycle, ‘park and stride’ is a good option – parking further away from the school and walking the rest of the way.
The City Council has long been committed to making walking and cycling easier, with a number of schemes in the pipeline funded by the Government’s Active Travel and Transforming Cities Funds.
For more information visit our webpage.
School Streets schemes will be continuing at:
- Greenfields Community School, The Meadows
- Sycamore Academy, St Ann’s
- Stanstead Primary and Nursery School, Bulwell Forest
- Carrington Primary and Nursery School, Sherwood
- Highbank Primary and Nursery School, Clifton East
- St Augustine’s Catholic Primary and Nursery School, Mapperley