Pupils take lead on active school travel

SBBN-26-03-15 Eyemouth winners walk to school
SBBN-26-03-15 Eyemouth winners walk to school

Two Berwickshire primaries have been recognised for encouraging pupils to be more active in their daily travels to school.

Scottish Borders Council’s Active School Travel Awards have seen pupils from nine of the region’s primary schools presented with a shield for having the highest percentage of pupils who walk, cycle, scooter or ‘park and stride’ to school in their area.

Nine of the region’s high schools also competed for the Secondary School Active Travel champion award.

The primary school winners - including pupils from Coldstream Primary and Eyemouth Primary - were decided using information from the National School Travel Hands Up survey.

This survey collated figures for every nursery and school throughout the length and breadth of Scotland, quizzing pupils on their mode of travel.

The results were then collated by Sustrans acting on behalf of the Scottish Government.

Pupils and staff work closely throughout the year with the local integrated police officers and SBC’s Safer Routes to School team, promoting different forms of active travel and highlighting road safety concerns.

The aim is for pupils to become more independent, and engage in healthy ways of getting to school, in a safe and secure way.

The awards highlighted that the Borders region was found to be above the Scottish average for children “actively travelling to school”.

The Scottish Borders Council Active School Travel Awards were presented to winning pupils representing their schools by Councillor Gordon Edgar, executive member for roads and infrastructure.

He was joined by education executive member, Councillor Sandy Aitchison.

Councillor Edgar said, while handing over the awards: “I am delighted to present these awards to each school which have helped the Borders remain above the Scottish average for the percentage of children who actively travel to school.”

He continued: “As a Council, we want to reduce the number of vehicles travelling to and from school.

“It is great that pupils, teachers and parents are getting involved to help us achieve this aim.”

Councillor Aitchison then added: “There have been some excellent initiatives by schools to promote active travel in their area.

“These include the ‘park and stride’ scheme through St Boswells Primary, the introduction of new crossing mats at Broomlands Primary and efforts by St Ronan’s to increase pedestrian safety around the school, among others.

“I congratulate all the winners and look forward to seeing another year of schools throughout the Borders promoting active travel.”