David Miliband MP will today has launched a programme of cutting edge projects designed to get more young people to cycle, walk and take public transport to school.
The South Shields MP will speak at the launch of Schools Go Smarter, a Tyne and Wear-wide suite of green travel projects aimed at primary and secondary school children and their parents and carers paid for by a £5m grant from the Department for Transport as well as funding from councils across Tyne and Wear.
Among the projects on offer to schools are cycle training for nursery-aged children, grants for school cycle sheds, child pedestrian training and school walking competitions.
Launching the initiative at Hadrian School, South Shields, David Miliband MP said: “All these projects have a simple aim, to get young people out of the car and going to and from school by foot, bike, bus or Metro with their parents.
“Increasing the numbers of green school runs will help the Tyne and Wear economy by reducing traffic jams, improve our environment by cutting pollution and help our children and their parents and carers stay fit and healthy.”
The projects have also received a statement of support from Transport Minister Norman Baker MP who said he was impressed by the range and scope of the Go Smarter projects.
Schools Go Smarter projects will run until March 2015 and will be delivered by the Tyne and Wear local authorities as well as national charities Sustrans and Living Streets.
Hadrian School was chosen for the launch because of its successful track record of getting more pupils to cycle to and from lessons. Cycling charity Sustrans has praised its attempts to establish a cycling culture and it recently came third in the Sustrans ‘Big Pedal’ virtual bike ride.
Chair of the Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority Cllr David Wood said:
“Walking, cycling and taking public transport to and from school is good for young people, good for our economy and good for the environment. These projects underline how small initiatives, for example holding bike breakfasts for kids who cycle to school, can encourage a lot more young people to get on their bikes.”
The launch will be attended by young people from across Tyne and Wear who have committed to get to the event by bus, Metro, Shields Ferry, by foot and by bike.
To find out more about the projects go to www.gosmarter.co.uk
Notes to editors:
1. Schools travelling to the launch today were:
Heaton Manor School, Newcastle, Bus and Metro
Preston Grange Primary School, North Shields, Shields Ferry and walking
Farringdon Sports College, Sunderland, Bike
Roman Road Primary School, Gateshead, Metro
2.Transport minister Norman Baker said:
“It is great to hear that the children of Tyne and Wear are so enthusiastic about sustainable travel and are keen to Go Smarter. I’m particularly impressed by the number of schemes to encourage pupils and their parents to think about greener and healthier alternatives to driving to school every day. These are just the kinds of projects we want to finance through the Local Sustainable Transport Fund – that is why we are providing almost £5 million to help bring these fantastic local projects to fruition.”
Page last updated: 11 May, 2012