Translink and Eco-Schools – the international environmental education programme – are celebrating 10 years of joining forces to deliver a school travel challenge across Northern Ireland.
The Translink Eco-Schools Travel Challenge promotes walking, cycling, bus and train travel for the school run instead of car use. Since its launch, over 105,000 sustainable journeys have been made by pupils choosing more active travel modes in an effort to cut car congestion at the school gates, protect the environment and boost their health and wellbeing.
The initiative supports the draft Programme for Government by encouraging an increase in public transport use and active travel. It incorporates curriculum-linked classroom resources and encourages schools to develop sustainable travel plans for at least two weeks as a way to achieve the prestigious Eco-Schools Green Flag Award.
Translink Health & Safety Manager John Thompson said: “The Challenge is a smart move to get more young people thinking about the importance of ‘active travel’:
“This partnership supports Translink’s ‘Go Eco’ corporate responsibility goals and it’s great to reach this major decade milestone. We’ve seen significant growth in pupil participation and around 10,500 pupils have now completed the challenge, demonstrating their commitment to reducing car congestion in their area.
“Over the years, pupils have been very creative in how they highlight the importance of sustainable transport, holding car-free days, fancy dress journeys, designing posters and even performing catchy public transport raps!
“We’re now encouraging schools to take part in the challenge during this milestone year. Visit translink.co.uk/ecoschools/ to download Key Stage 1 – 3 classroom resources and be in with a chance of winning fantastic prizes!” said John.
Ruth Van Ry, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, said: “We really enjoy working on this great project with Translink and are seeing the rewards as a record number of pupils took part last year and the percentage of sustainable journeys undertaken has grown from 12% in the early years to nearly 60% last year. We are encouraging all schools to get on board for this special 10th year anniversary, have some fun and improve their health and environment.”
For further information click translink.co.uk/ecoschools/. Deadline for completed Translink Eco-Schools Travel Challenge entries is Tuesday May 21, 2019. For further information call Eco-Schools on Tel: 028 9073 6920.
Pictured launching the initiative which helps schools achieve the prestigious Eco-Schools Green Flag Award are: Lola McLachlan, Aimee Layland, Lukas Wilkinson, Grace Denvir, Nathaniel Robinson, Conor O’Reilly from Oakwood Integrated Primary School, Dunmurry.