Remember back in the old school days where we were rewarded with gold stars on good behaviour and excellent work? Well now schools will be rewarded with gold stars, as part of a scheme to encourage parents and pupils to walk, cycle or use public transport to school. Reducing the usage of cars will lower pollution and congestion around the school. It will reduce carbon emissions and promote a healthier lifestyle of keeping physically active which would also help the issue of childhood obesity.
Transport Minister Baroness Kramer has backed the national scheme and is aiming for all of UK’s 24,000 schools to participate in the scheme. At the moment, 5,000 schools are involved.
The schools can also arrange ‘walking buses’ in which pupils are picked up at meeting points and would walk the rest of the way with their school mates. And for parents that find it necessary to drive due to poor transport links or live too far from the school, a ‘park and stride’ scheme can be implemented, in which they can park their vehicles in designated areas and walk the rest of the way. And of course there are parents who absolutely do not wish to give up their vehicles. Councils have been considering the idea of charging them for parking near the schools.
Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said in a statement, “We all know that walking or cycling is good for your health and better for the environment than jumping into a car. That is why I am delighted to support this programme, which incentivises youngsters to choose a healthier route to school.”