St Martin’s Primary School Support Active Travel

A move instigated by the children in the UNICEF Rights Respecting Group at St Martin’s Primary School which saw cars banned from the school gates at pick up time, has been a great success in promoting active travel.

Since the change last year, many parents of St Martins’ pupils have been using the travel hubs in the area and walking the short journey to or from the school gates. The hubs were identified in the local area and include Raymond Falla House, Grande Rue car park, Les Douvres Hotel and St Martin’s Football Club. Children have also been encouraged to travel actively wherever possible. 

Because of how effective the school’s park and stride scheme has been, the Health Improvement Commission has created a video showing off the benefits the school’s children have been enjoying. These videos are shared on the Active Travel @ School page and will be posted on social media throughout the week.

The film will also be shared with other schools, who may look to adopt a similar approach or introduce elements of the scheme, as well as with the wider community through the Commission’s website.

“I am incredibly proud of our ‘Rights Squad’ and their campaign to promote children’s rights to be active and to a safe and clean environment. The children are passionate about doing their bit to reduce carbon emissions and climate change. The project was a wonderful demonstration of the power of pupil voice and how the school is so well supported by parents, carers and the local community.”

Cate Mason, Headteacher at St Martins'

A survey undertaken after the scheme showed that 30% of people who responded to a parent survey said that they started to walk or cycle more often.

‘Everyone benefits from active travel. For each individual, it boosts physical and mental health, and the reduction in congestion creates cleaner air, safer roads for walking and cycling and plays its part in reducing emissions. Most importantly it is a fun way to travel.

‘Each school has different challenges, but the aim is to get more children travelling to school actively, more of the time – even if it is for part of the journey using a hub similar to those at St Martin’s. A generation ago 70% of the UK population walked to school, now it’s less than half. The aim is to reverse this decline and to enable and energise children to make walking to school a viable option and their natural choice.’

Alex Costen, Active Travel Officer at the Health Improvement Commission

Check out St Martin's Primary School guide to implementing a school active travel scheme

Keep a look out on our social media channels over the coming weeks for videos of St Martin's approach to setting up and supporting active travel plans.