A YATE junior school has earned the top rating possible for its programme for encouraging families to leave the car behind on the school run.
The Ridge Junior School in Melrose Avenue has improved last year’s gold Modeshift STARS (Sustainable Travel Accreditation and Recognition for Schools) award to platinum this year – only two years after joining the scheme.
The awards recognise changes and efforts to get more pupils walking, cycling or scooting to school.
The Ridge has made changes to its fencing to create an area for cyclists to wait whilst the school gates open and bought a new cycle shelter and scooter storage to accommodate more and more children actively travelling to school.
South Gloucestershire Council will be funding new infrastructure to help support more active travel for schools that successfully gain Modeshift STARS accreditation by the end of the year. Schools that achieve bronze receive £500, silver £3,000, gold £4,000 and platinum schools £5,000.
The local authority is now third in the Modeshift STARS national league table for excellence in supporting sustainable and active travel, having joined the scheme in 2020.
There are now 30 schools involved, with one school achieving the platinum (outstanding) award, two gaining gold (excellent), four silver (very good), 20 bronze (good) and three green (approved).
Pupils, parents, carers, staff and local community have been ‘energised’
The Ridge head teacher Phil Boult said: “We are delighted that The Ridge has achieved platinum status for its work on sustainable and healthy travel.
“It has been a fabulous collaboration with South Glos. Our travel plan leader, Mrs Bev Furber, has energised the pupils, parents, carers, staff and local community. Journeys to and from school have been transformed over the last two years.”
Cabinet councillor Louise Harris said: “Congratulations to all of the pupils and schools that have taken part in this fantastic initiative to encourage more healthy and sustainable travel. I’m pleased that their hard work has been recognised with these impressive awards.
“Working with school staff, the council’s sustainable travel team has supported schools to encourage and build on sustainable methods of transport for pupils to get to and from school each day.”
Picture: Children from the Ridge Junior School in Yate with Councillor Louise Harris, Emily Harrison from the school leadership team and active travel champion Beverley Furber.