The School Travel Challenge has celebrated a second successful year of encouraging families to leave their cars at home and travel actively to school.
The challenge, organised by Frome Town Council in partnership with Missing Links, took place at the end of May and saw over 2,000 students across eight schools walking, scooting and cycling to school.
A significant increase in active journeys was seen in all the schools, leaping from 52% before the challenge, to 72% during the week. Building on their victory last year, Beckington First School took top place again and recorded a whopping 83% on day four of the challenge.
The eight schools taking part this year were Beckington C.E. First School, Christ Church C of E First School, Mells C of E First School, Oakfield Academy, St Louis Catholic Primary, Steiner Academy Frome, Trinity First School and Vallis First School.
Mayor Rich Ackroyd said “It is fantastic that so many people really have embraced the Travel Challenge and it just shows what can be done if we put our minds to it. And it really made a difference to the roads at school pick up times. I would really urge anybody who can to keep it going as its good for your health, your wealth and the world!”
All schools enjoyed a BMX stunt show and pupils had a go on the smoothie bike. Many also had a visit from Dr Bike, scooter skills sessions, obstacle courses and a Be Bright mufti day.
Lucy McMahon a parent at Christ church school said, “We nearly always walk to school anyway, but my children got really excited about cycling or scooting to school during School Travel Week and we’ve kept it up since. They also loved the extra activities, especially the smoothie bike! We definitely noticed more families leaving their cars at home and the whole event felt really positive and fun.”
Getting to school in an active and sustainable fashion is kind to the environment but also has huge health benefits. Pupils racked up 7,000 active journeys throughout the week and managed to burn over half a million calories! The effects of the challenge are long-lasting with schools already recording more active journeys at the start of the week than this time last year.
The School Travel Challenge was set up in 2017 by local charity Frome’s Missing Links, who campaign for better and safer walking and cycling routes in and around Frome. The challenge has helped to raise funds to extend the flat and traffic free Colliers Way and eventually link Frome and Radstock.
If you’d like to find out more or to donate go to: www.fromesmissinglinks.org.uk/donate/