10 May 2013
Children across Jersey are being encouraged to swap wheels for feet during Walk to School Fortnight between Monday 13 May and Friday 24 May (the last day before the half-term break).
The third annual Island-wide Walk to School Fortnight (primary schools) and Free Your Feet Fortnight (secondary schools) will encourage students, staff and parents to walk instead of using their cars. The themed fortnights have been timed to coincide with the National Walk to School Week campaign run by UK charity Living Streets.
Greener modes of transport
Classroom resources have been offered to all primary and secondary schools to encourage walking and other greener modes of transport. Schools have 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.
Secondary school pupils are also invited to take part in an Eco-Active Schools photography competition where they can win a prize for the most interesting photograph of a cycle path, nature trail, etc, whilst travelling to or from school.
School travel plans
Minister for Transport and Technical Services, Deputy Kevin Lewis, said “Walk to school 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 trying to address the congestion problem through school travel plans to relieve traffic at school gates at drop-off and pick-up times. We have so far helped 26 schools to complete their own 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 and although not everyone can walk to school, a large percentage of school car trips in Jersey are less than two miles.
“This annual campaign aims to encourage those who can to try walking, cycling or scooting to school, and to encourage those who live too far away to think about car-share or ‘park and stride’. Janvrin School, for example, has developed a 'park-and-stride' scheme as a long term project.”