A national scheme will reward schools that encourage children to walk and cycle to school, transport minister Baroness Kramer announced today (6 November 2014).
The Modeshift STARS programme awards schools bronze, silver or gold stars according to how effective they are at persuading pupils to choose greener and healthier ways of getting to and from school.
Around 5,000 schools already follow the scheme and now new Department for Transport funding of nearly £200,000 will allow the remaining 19,000 across the country to sign up for free until March 2016.
Schools that win a STARS award could be recognised as regional or national school of the year at the Modeshift National Sustainable Travel Awards.
Baroness Kramer said:
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.
Modeshift will be working with sustainable travel group Living Streets, which will be encouraging schools to look at ways to increase walking. The Bicycle Association is also donating £10,000 towards prizes for schools taking part in the project, which is overseen by Durham County Council.
The funding announced today is in addition to £374 million committed by the government to cycling between 2011 and 2015.