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Active travel project successfully tackles school gate congestion

This news article was published more than a year ago. Some of the information may no longer be accurate.

Published: 02/09/2014


Stoke Lodge Primary School is looking forward to less congestion at the school gates this new school year after taking part in Travelwest’s Active Travel to School project.

The Active Travel to School project is currently running at a number of schools throughout South Gloucestershire to encourage parents and staff to consider how they are travelling to school and to think about the impact their travel choice has on the school community, particularly if they decide to drive.

Parents and pupils at Stoke Lodge Primary School in Patchway were shown the impact of their travel choice when they took part in a video to illustrate the extent of the problem.

Parents dropping their children off by car and turning their vehicles around in the cul-de-sac were filmed early on in the school year. The scene outside the school was then recorded again later in the year following a series of Active Travel to School interventions. These included a package of classroom based and on road training sessions, building on road safety skills and considering sustainable travel, as well as the enrolment of pupil travel ambassadors and active travel event days.

The vast improvement to congestion levels and safety at the school gates is obvious and clearly demonstrates the project’s success. Pupils involved in the project have also said they now feel healthier and also have more fun on their way to and from school since choosing to travel using sustainable methods.

Active Travel to School officer Vicky Stone said: “The idea of the video was to show how chaotic the traffic can be outside the school on a typical day. The latter part of the film was taken on an Active Travel event day when parents and pupils were encouraged to cycle, scoot or walk to school; the positive difference this made to the school journey was huge.”

Richard Clark, Head Teacher at Stoke Lodge Primary School, said: “I am really pleased to have been working in collaboration with South Gloucestershire Council and Sustrans on the Active Travel to School project and I am excited that as a school we have now taken the first step in developing a positive ethos around healthier travel. I look forward to continuing this work in the new academic year and hope we can further reduce traffic congestion around the school in the future.”

Karen Smith, whose son attends the school, said: “I think it has changed my experience, not just for myself but also for my son, because he gets more chance to talk to his friends. I’ve even met new parents through walking and chatting to them, so it has been quite good for both of us really.”

Karen’s advice to other parents was to: “Try it, definitely try it. Even one day a week can make a massive difference.”

The film was created as part of the Travelwest Active Travel to school project which aims to increase walking, cycling and scooting to school in South Gloucestershire. The initiative is part of a programme of activities being delivered by Sustrans and South Gloucestershire Council, and funded by the Local Sustainable Transport Fund to reduce car use on the school run.

You can view the video below or on our Youtube channel.


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