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Mode of travel data to support local transport and health policies.

Mode of travel data is still necessary to plan, implement, support and provide evidence of the effectiveness of transport and health policies in schools, we would like to continue to collect it locally using Modeshift Sustainable Travel Accreditation and Recognition for Schools (STARS).

Modeshift STARS school travel plans

With high profile stories concerning climate change, air pollution as well as mental and physical wellbeing in the forefront of many people’s minds, one way to bring about a positive change is to think about how we travel.

According to the Bikeability Trust, if just one parent and child chose not to drive to school all year round this could save almost half a tonne of CO2 being released into the atmosphere. Imagine the impact that could be achieved if every child in your school who is currently driven made an active journey for all or just part of the way!

Fewer car journeys would also contribute to reducing the nitrogen oxides and air pollution particulates associated with traffic as well as alleviating the congestion and aggravation caused by cars parking outside the school gate.  Furthermore, encouraging walking, cycling or scooting also provides the opportunity for increased physical activity and improved mental health.

Section 508A of the Education Act places a general duty on local authorities to promote the use of sustainable travel and transport, with further details given in the Department for Education home to school travel and transport guidance

The authority’s Sustainable Modes of Travel Strategy utilises Modeshift STARS as a means of promoting sustainable travel to school through the development of a travel plan which recognises and rewards schools who have shown excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable and active travel.  

Modeshift STARS is a free online tool that any school can adopt. As a starting point it asks you to conduct a simple survey to ascertain the actual and preferred modes of travel to school from which you can develop an action plan of activities and initiatives to reduce the negative impact car travel has. 

Some of these initiatives you may already have in place, such as bikeability training, Sustrans Big Walk and Wheel, national clean air day and taking part in Travel Smart week.

Modeshift STARS aims to bring all these things together to form a coherent travel plan that demonstrates the schools commitment and achievements towards the journey to net zero, reducing air pollution, reducing congestion at the school gate and helping to provide opportunities for increased physical activity.

Travel plans are also often required for planning consent for new school buildings and the mode of travel data you supply also helps to support wider local transport and health policies.

Mode of travel survey

Data is required annually for the actual and preferred mode of travel for at least 80% of pupils and 50% full time staff at school.

This can be completed as a hands up survey on the Modeshift STARS page.

If your school has not already done so, please register and log on to the Modeshift STARS website.

Go to the cog button and select ‘add new survey’ to enter the preferred and actual modes of travel. For ease and a single entry you could tally up the figures for the entire school and add them all in one go. In this instance type in “whole school” where it asks for the class name.

Alternatively on your Modeshift STARS school site home page you will also find a unique survey link that can be emailed to each class teacher so they can complete the survey in the classroom if you have the facility for this.

Schools that record and enter their pupil mode of travel on Modeshift STARS using the wall charts supplied as part of Travel Smart week in either October or May do not need to repeat this exercise again for pupils.

Travel Smart week 2022

Please join us for our wellbeing themed sustainable travel week by encouraging pupils to join the SMILERS and to be Travel Smart by making more active and environmentally friendly journeys to school during the week of 16 May 2022 to 20 May 2022.

The SMILERS ways to wellbeing are:

  • Stay connected – Having healthy relationships with people and pets to help you to feel happy.
  • Move – Being active releases chemicals in your brain which boosts your mood and makes you feel good.
  • Interest – Having special interests and learning something new to keep your brain busy.
  • Look – Using your senses to notice what is around you to keep you in the moment.
  • Eating well – Eating a balanced diet to make you feel good and also to help you stay healthy and strong.
  • Rest – Getting a good night’s sleep to improve your memory, mood and mental health.
  • Support – Supporting people to make us feel positive and to make them happy too.

So making an active journey, after a healthy breakfast and a good night’s sleep, is a great way to improve your wellbeing as part of the school day, as well as doing your bit to support reducing the impacts of air pollution and climate change associated with vehicle emissions.

Schools who took  part in Travel Smart week in October 2021 will automatically be sent materials for the May campaign. If the quantity of resources sent in October was insufficient and you haven’t already done so, please let us know. Similarly if your school has not previously taken part and you would like to, please contact the Sustainable Travel team:

Email: sustainable.travel@derbyshire.gov.uk

If you are able to take part in this or any of the other sustainable campaigns, you can promote and share this activity with the Sustainable Travel team via Twitter.

Remember to record your participation in any sustainable travel related activities in the Modeshift STARS system to help maintain your school travel plan, including the actual and preferred modes of travel for pupils.

Similarly, please update your Modeshift plan accordingly if there have been any changes in infrastructure in and around your school, for example, new cycle storage, improved walking or cycling routes.

If you require any further information or would like further details, please do not hesitate to contact the sustainable travel team:

Email: sustainable.travel@derbyshire.gov.uk

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