Translink & Eco-Schools launch challenge for ‘healthier & happier’ school run

Posted 22/10/2014 00:00:00

Northern Ireland pupils join 2 week sustainable transport challenge.

Translink has teamed up with the international Eco-Schools programme to launch a sustainable travel challenge that will cut down car congestion around local schools and boost the health and happiness of participants.

The two-week travel challenge targeting Key Stage 1 – 3 pupils encourages more sustainable forms of travel including walking, cycling, bus and train. With recent independent research revealing that people who use sustainable transport for the journey to and from work have a significantly lower BMI and are happier than those who opt to use private transport, it’s hoped that parents and pupils will also embrace these benefits and leave the car at home.

Launching the initiative, Translink’s Lynda Shannon said it will be a good opportunity to introduce young people to a more sustainable lifestyle and inform them about the environmental, safety, health and cost benefits of more active forms of travel:

“We want to encourage pupils from a young age to adopt good travel habits that stay with them as they grow up and become the next generation of commuters travelling to work. Recent news headlines about the health and wellbeing benefits of public transport provide even more incentive for people to move away from private car use. Although the challenge lasts a fortnight we hope that many participants will opt to continue using sustainable transport.

“As well as helping schools achieve the internationally-recognised Eco-Schools Green Flag, there’s also some great challenge winner prizes up for grabs including an Ulsterbus Tours school coach trip and day out in Dublin. We’re looking forward to working with local schools to tackle the school run congestion and help make life better for more families across Northern Ireland.”

Carmel Fyfe, Eco-Schools Manager, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, said:

“Thanks to the on-going support from Translink we are seeing more and more pupils getting involved in the Travel Challenge each year and choosing sustainable forms of transport for the school run from walking and cycling to scooting and taking public transport. The Travel Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for pupils to enjoy the health benefits of using sustainable transport while helping to reduce congestion round the school gates. Fewer cars on the road is also helping to reduce carbon emissions which is better for the environment too.”

Schools can register their participation now with Eco-Schools and there are a range of engaging classroom resources available to download from Translink’s website www.translink.co.uk/ecoschools . Deadline for completed Translink Eco-Schools Travel Challenge entries is 13th May 2015. For further information call Eco-Schools on 028 9073 6920.