Bedford Borough now has five schools that have reached Gold accreditation for their efforts to encourage and promote sustainable travel
Castle Newnham School (South Site), St James’ CofE VA Primary School, Westfield Primary School and Goldington Green Academy have all joined Shortstown Primary School as Gold standard schools.
The accreditation comes from Modeshift STARS, the Centre of Excellence for the delivery of effective Travel Plans in education, business and community settings.
All of these schools have followed a programme of initiatives supported by the Bedford Borough Council Sustainable Transport team and demonstrated a noticeable reduction in car travel to school over the last four years. The schools have worked with parents and pupils to deliver their initiatives and help to encourage lasting change.
Alongside the five schools achieving Gold accreditation, Bedford Borough also has one school with a Silver accreditation, ten schools achieving Bronze and six with a Green accreditation. This means there are now 22 accredited schools within the Borough.
Cllr Charles Royden, Deputy Mayor & Portfolio Holder for Environment, Highways and Transport, said: “I’m delighted that so many of our schools in Bedford Borough have been recognised for the effort they have put into promoting sustainable travel and discouraging problem parking by their gates.
“We’ve been supporting families in making good choices where they can, providing schools with pavement buddies, training pupils and giving out Try a Bus vouchers for children moving to secondary school. The data we collect shows that active travel rates for walking and cycling at our schools are 6.5 percentage points higher than the East of England average.”
School surveys conducted in 2021 show that 50.5% of children use active travel to get to school in Bedford, this is significantly higher than both the East of England average (44%) and national average (47%) as reported in the 2021 National Travel Survey. The amount of pupils travelling actively in Bedford is a huge achievement for residents and reflects their commitment to active travel and sustainable forms of transport.