Barley Close school earns travel award
A PROJECT to reduce car journeys to and from a Mangotsfield school has won pupils, teachers and parents an award.
Barley Close Community Primary School has achieved the Silver Modeshift STARS Award for work to encourage "active travel" – walking, cycling or scooting to school.
The active travel project features 41 different initiatives, including a "walking bubble" five minute's walk around the school, where parents who drive are encouraged park and finish their journey on foot, children recording their daily journeys to school on a 'travel tracker' and receiving badges for active travel, and workshops with South Gloucestershire Council's road safety and Bikeability teams.
Head teacher Jo Williams said: "Walking, cycling or scooting to school, even for just part of the journey, improves health and well-being, reduces congestion and improves air quality.
"We are so proud that we have met the Silver Modeshift standard. I would like to say a huge thank you to all the staff, pupils and families at Barley Close for supporting us and helping the children to be more active.
"The support from Andrew MacDonald and the road safety team in South Glos as well as Catherine McCoy from Living Streets has been second to none, so thank you to all of them as well."
In 2019 Barley Close became the first school in South Gloucestershire to achieve a Modeshift Sustainable Travel Accreditation and Recognition for Schools (STARS) Bronze Award for promoting sustainable methods of transport.
But the need for further work had been highlighted by a police operation in October last year, which found six parents on the school run to Barley Close driving or using e-scooters illegally, including a disqualified driver who had parked on the school's keep clear zigzag lines to drop children off, in a car he had taken without the owner's consent.
The council announced plans for an experimental "school street" traffic order to stop traffic entering Barley Close at drop-off and pick-up times last summer, but the scheme was scrapped after it was found that a large number of residents would have been unable to access driveways and garages.
The school now has a dedicated active travel page on its website, includes active travel in the prospectus for new parents and regularly updates parents, neighbours, teachers and pupils on its progress to improve sustainability at school.