Pupils across Jersey are being encouraged to make a greener travel choice and walk, cycle, catch a bus or share a lift during Green Travel Fortnight which takes place between Monday 12 May and Friday 23 May and coincides with National walk to School Week campaigns (19-23 May). The campaign is also part of Eco-Active Schools Framework.
This is the fourth year, and the new focus is on all forms of green travel. The main activity for primary schools will involve pupils using cut outs, which represent parts of a green travel superhero. If pupils travel to school on each day of the Fortnight in a green way (10 days in total) they will eventually make their own sustainable superhero and will receive a travel badge. They might even get a visit from their superhero.
The Minutes in Motion challenge encourages secondary pupils to record their green travel over a period of 10 days. Each mode of travel (10 minutes or more) is assigned a value and there is a maximum of 30 points each pupil can collect:
- three points for walking and cycling
- two points for bus travel
- one point for car sharing
Secondary pupils return their travel postcards to their form/house teacher who submits these to the Transport and Technical Services (TTS) department for review. All postcards with a value of 30 points will be entered into a draw where pupils can win one of three top prizes including unlimited bus travel for a month sponsored by Liberty Bus, a Schuh shop voucher and bike gear. The winning form/house will also receive House points from their School. All pupils can be rewarded for their efforts with a certificate issued by their teachers, which is found on the Gov.je Travel Fortnight page.
Organisers are giving free classroom resources to primary and secondary schools to encourage participation and hope that at least 25 schools participate this year. Schools have also been asked to track their progress using a travel survey and will be able to use the results to update their school travel plan and annual review.
Minister of Transport and Technical Services, Deputy Kevin Lewis, said: “Green Travel Fortnight is a great way to help schools raise awareness and focus attention on school traffic congestion which is a significant issue. During school holidays rush hour traffic on our roads drops by about 15 per cent. As part of the Sustainable Transport Policy, my department is actively trying to address the congestion problem with the introduction of school travel plans to relieve traffic at school gates at drop-off and pick-up times. We have so far helped 28 schools to complete their own individual School Travel Plans and a further eight schools’ plans are in development.”
Department of the Environment Minister, Deputy Rob Duhamel said: “We very much hope that all schools, their pupils and families will take part in the campaign to promote greener, safer, and healthier journeys. Transport is one of the nine key topic areas in the Eco Schools Programme.
“This annual campaign aims to encourage those who can, to try walking or cycling to school, and to encourage those that live too far away to think about taking the bus, or car-sharing.”