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Active Travel Newsletter | October 2015
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Exploring Bath by Bike


I just recently started working for Sustrans in the South West, so this term has been an especially busy and exciting one for me. On my way to a number of school events I had the pleasure of exploring some parts of Bath & North East Somerset’s extensive cycle network. I feel very lucky to live and work in an area with such a variety of beautiful, quiet and convenient routes to ride. The Two Tunnels circuit is a particular favourite of mine, but there are plenty of others to discover...
 
Why not explore your local area by bike? You might even be lucky enough to live near some of the cycle paths I mentioned. Why not use these to cycle or walk to school? With the Travelwest Schools Travel Challenge running (5-16 October), now’s a great opportunity to try different options for getting to school that are good for your health and the environment. Don’t forget to log your journeys at travelwest.info/theschoolschallenge!
Pictured: sections from Bath Two Tunnels circuit and Colliers Way cycle routes. For more info, please visit: http://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map/route/bath-two-tunnels and http://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map/route/colliers-way
“Wow wow wow!!!!!! Kids loved Lee [BMX performer], he was amazing…the show was amazing…he engaged every child…they thought he was awesome!!! Thank you so much for all your hard work this year.”
 
Pat Scott, Learning Mentor/HLTA, Little Mead Primary Academy
‘’The workshop was fab and the children and all adults involved loved it.’’
 
Teacher,St Chad’s Patchway CofE Primary commenting on route planning and 5 minute walking zone sessions
"I enjoyed scooting because it felt faster…enjoyed fresh air…spotted things I don’t normally see in the car…went past families, met up with friends and mums were chatting as we raced, talked before school, played games with mum on the way, walked with my pet."

Year 3 pupil, Wansdyke Primary

‘’I would like to thank you so much for the work and support you and your colleagues have given to our school. Our Active Ambassadors have enjoyed finding out about travel and environmental issues; lots of our pupils have enjoyed the breakfast events organised; the teaching and pupil resources provided have been first class too.’’ 

Teacher at The Ridge Juniors

‘Human Power Station’ on Tour!


The Bath & North East Somerset's Bike Generator has made an appearance at several events this term, including the Pearl Izumi Tour Series at Victoria Park and Bath National Playday in Queen Square Bath.
 
A number of children (and adults!) had a go at ‘pedal-powering’ electrical items using the bike generator. These included light bulbs, fans, radios and even a bubble machine – all being powered at once! Because of each items’ different wattage, some were easier to power up than others, but the real challenge was our travel kettle. With 1800w it would have taken more than 30 people on separate generator bikes to make us a few cuppas!  

Nevertheless, the other items were powered successfully, so we had bubbles and music to spare!

Pictured: Christine Warren of the Travelwest team, aka ‘Human Power Station’!

Top tips for the autumn term 

  • See ‘Dates for the Diary’ on the back page and use any themed weeks, dates or events to promote or discuss walking, cycling or scooting… October is the International Walk to School Month and Road Safety Week is coming in November.
  • Start thinking about when the evenings get darker and the importance of using lights and being visible. Diwali is the Festival of Lights, perfect for promoting being seen after the clocks change.
  • Plan your activities for 2015/16 and take your hands-up/baseline surveys to see how pupils are currently travelling. Do you need to refresh a travel plan, or tweak your information for new parents and pupils? What new things do you want to try? 

Get this resource… 

  • Bike to School Week may have come and gone, but our new guide, 5 Small Steps to Something BIG, includes five activities designed to be delivered over five days, to help you turn any week into a Bike, Walk or Scoot to School Week. Download it at www.sustrans.org.uk/biketoschoolweek

Join the Travelwest Schools Challenge

 
Following a highly successful challenge last year, all secondary schools in the West of England are invited to join this year’s challenge and make it even bigger and better.

There are many alternative ways both staff and students could travel to school that are healthier and a lot more fun. 

The healthy competition the challenge provides encourages students to really think about how they travel. We would like schools to invite as many students as possible to participate so they get active by walking, cycling or scooting. An active life helps students feel happier and improves the level of concentration throughout the day.

Where distance prevents active travel, public transport could help with increasing the feeling of independence by slowly introducing students to being responsible for their own traveling. Other options include car sharing, which could be encouraged among parents.

All journeys logged on the Challenge website count to the total school score, and there are spot prizes up for grabs. Visit travelwest.info/schoolschallenge to register.

Due to the Safeguarding process, new registration approvals can take up to 2 working days.

Biggest and Best year ever for Active Travel to School Week!

 
Active Travel to School Week is an active travel incentive in its third year that evolved in 2015 to include more interactive and creative resources to keep pupils entertained. Pupils were encouraged to reflect on their journey to school through daily challenges, drawing their route to school and collecting stickers. They were given a journal to record their week and add to as they saw fit. The stickers were half completed images to encourage pupils to use their imagination to complete the image and make their own vision of their local area. 
 
The journal and its week of challenges served as research for pupils to draw on when entering the competition to design their own dream journey to school. After a week of exploring and considering the local area and their journey, pupils were better informed to create their own space. They were asked to imagine a happier, healthier and greener space to live in and travel through; a place where the local community can choose to travel actively, socialise and play together. Winners were chosen based on creativity, community inclusion and how much their design encouraged active modes of travel.
 
Twenty pupils won a family voucher to either At-Bristol, Bristol Zoo, ss Great Britain or Pedal Progression bike hire at Ashton Court. Pupils at Little Mead Primary Academy were wowed by a BMX stunt show for being the overall winning school.
 
In total, 55 primary schools registered (compared to 45 in 2014 and 50 in 2013) and 17,051 pupils took part (compared to 13,626 in 2014 and 12,075 in 2013). So we can very safely say this has been our biggest and best year to date.
 
Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and highlighted not only increased active journeys for the duration of the week but also the parental involvement and potential longer term change in travel behaviour.

This term in numbers

West of England Partnership region

  • 16,799 positive active travel experiences for pupils, staff and parents
  • Active Travel to School Officers have collectively delivered 236 school-based activities
  • 16 Transitions events or sessions have been delivered at schools, engaging with 963 pupils and 970 parents in total

Across the UK

Sustrans’ School Mark recognises and supports schools’ excellence in active and sustainable travel. At last count we had 690 schools who had achieved Bronze level, 75 with the Silver award and 19 with Gold

Schools have also demonstrated impressive increases in active and sustainable travel after taking part in Sustrans’ Big Shift, our a free-to-access online challenge which sets targets and charts their success.

Dates for the diary

October
  • 1st - 31st International Walk to School Month
  • 25th Clocks change
  • 31st Halloween
November December
  • 24th-26th Christmas

I'd love to hear from you…

I’m Hannah Brittain, Sustrans’ Active Travel to Schools officer for Bath & North East Somerset. Please get in touch if you have any great school stories or if would like to find out more about promoting active travel in your school.


Tel: 07887 635 633
Email: Hannah.Brittain@sustrans.org.uk
Twitter: @Bike_It_Hannah
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