Modeshift STARS accreditation regional awards announced

In 2015, 347 schools nationally have achieved Modeshift STARS accreditation in recognition of their efforts to encourage their pupils to travel to school in greener, healthier and safer ways, and now the very best of those schools has been announced.

Six Schools of the Region have been recognised for their outstanding achievements in increasing levels of sustainable and active travel.

From the East of England, Godmanchester Primary School from Cambridgeshire worked particularly hard to promote cycling to school which resulted in a 50% increase in numbers cycling from 20% to 31%. In the South West, Haydonleigh Primary School of Swindon are able to boast over 25% of pupils cycling or scooting to school. Meanwhile in the South East, St Bede Church of England Primary were the first school to achieve the Gold level of Modeshift STARS in Hampshire and have recently added sustainable travel to part of their School Improvement Plan meaning that they are committed to sustainable travel for the long term.

Further north, the Midlands School of the Region title went to St John’s (CE)A) Primary in Stoke where who have achieved a 21.3% reduction in car use over the last 3-years. For the North East, the Federation of Abbey Schools in Darlington took the award where the percentage of pupils travelling by car has fallen to 13.1% from 35.3% in 2011/12. Finally, the Yorkshire & The Humber Region award went to Rawdon Littlemoor Primary School of Leeds who have reduced the number of pupils travelling to school by car from 45.9% to 27.4% in just two years.

The six Schools of the Region will now be invited to a National Awards Event in March 2016 at which the National Awards Panel will decide upon the National School of the Year.

Ross Butcher, Chair of Modeshift, said: “The STARS scheme recognises schools that have demonstrated excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable travel. The schools that have been recognised as Schools of the Region have achieved way beyond what is expected of them and as such, are able to demonstrate some incredible results. They are a shining example to all of us and prove that we really can make a difference to the journey to school.”

Majority of Brits want more money spent on cycling, says Sustrans

A new survey commissioned by Sustrans has found that the majority of British people want more money spent on cycling. “Bike Life” is claimed to be the biggest survey ever conducted on attitudes to cycling in the UK, and shows that three quarters of people want more government investment in making cycling safer. The survey has been released ahead of the Treasury’s Comprehensive Spending Review, due on 25th November.

Jason Torrance, Policy Director at Sustrans, said:

“People want governments to spend more, and say that they would cycle more if it were safer. Now governments must close this gap between current spending and public demand.

“Physical inactivity, congestion and declining air quality cost our economy billions. Governments must act to secure a greater share of current transport investment for cycling and walking.

“The Spending Review in November and the devolved elections next May are perfect opportunities to do just that. Government must ensure the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy is ambitious and guarantees long-term funding for active travel.”

The Bike Life Survey asked about the travel habits and opinions of thousands of people across seven UK cities: Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Greater Manchester and Newcastle.

The report is based on the Copenhagen Bicycle Account, conducted every two years, which the Danish city uses as part of its planning process. (Copenhagen has built 3kms of bicycle lanes every year since 1905.)

Copenhagen has produced the reports since 1996. As a result 45% of journeys to work, school and university are now made by bike in the Danish capital. Sustrans believes that UK cities have the potential to achieve the same.

Bike Life was produced in association with seven cities across the UK and revealed that the 11,000 people questioned wanted on average £26 per person to be spent on cycling annually, as part of the £300 per person currently spent on transport. Each city has produced its own version of the Bike Life survey. The one for Newcastle reveals that the number of cycling trips in the city increased by 12 percent between 2013 and 2014

Sustrans claims that “even people who don’t ride a bike recognise the importance of building bike lanes and funding other projects to boost cycling.”

71 percent of those who said that they never used a bike still backed an increase, rising to 87 percent among those frequently riding a bike. 73 percent think that things would be better if people cycled more

ICM Unlimited carried out the telephone survey, interviewing a representative sample of 11,016 adults aged 16+.

Schools awarded for active travel efforts

On Tuesday, schools from across the South East, South West and East of England were recognised by Modeshift for their efforts to increase the numbers of pupils walking and cycling to school.

Notable amongst those schools were Godmanchester Primary School of Cambridgeshire, St Bede Church of England Primary School of Hampshire and Haydonleigh Primary School of Swindon, who were all recognised as the School of the Region for their respective Regions.


Godmanchester Primary School has worked hard to promote cycling to school which has resulted in an 50 percent increase in numbers cycling from 20 percent to 31 percent. Over 25 percent of pupils at Haydonleigh Primary School now cycle or scoot to school. Meanwhile, St Bede Church of England Primary is the first school to achieve the Gold level of Modeshift STARS in Hampshire and has recently added sustainable travel to part of their School Improvement Plan meaning that they are committed to sustainable travel for the long term.

The full list of schools rewarded for their efforts is:

• Godmanchester Primary School, Cambridgeshire, East of England School of the Region and STARS Award for Promoting Cycling

• Haydonleigh Primary School, Swindon, South West School of the Region and STARS Award for Pupil Involvement

• St Bede Church of England Primary School, Hampshire, South East School of the Region and STARS Award for Effective Partnerships

• St Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School, Hampshire, STARS Award for Reducing Car Use

• Stoke Mandeville Combined School, Buckinghamshire, STARS Award for Promoting Road Safety
• The Downley School, Buckinghamshire, STARS Award for Promoting Walking

Ross Butcher, Chair of Modeshift, the scheme coordinator, said: “Modeshift STARS presents a huge opportunity for us to collectively increase the number of children and young people that get more active on the journey to school. In a time of tight budgets and the government’s spending review just weeks away, it is vital that we recognise the efforts of our schools in making our communities happier, healthier places to live. The schools that have won awards this week are able to boast some fantastic achievements and have set an excellent example for others to follow.”

In 2015, 347 schools nationally have achieved Modeshift STARS accreditation in recognition of their efforts to encourage their pupils to travel to school in greener, healthier and safer ways. The STARS scheme recognises schools that have demonstrated excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable travel.

Two further awards events will take place later this month, for the Midlands/North West Region in Stoke on the 15th October and for the North East/Yorkshire & The Humber Region in Leeds on the 22nd October.

Schools are able to achieve three levels of Modeshift STARS accreditation – Bronze, Silver and Gold – and are rewarded with the Modeshift STARS plaque and certificate to display in their school, use of the nationally recognised Modeshift STARS logo and the opportunity to be put forward for the Regional and National School of the Year Awards.

Campaigners take to the streets outside Tory party conference seeking more “space for cycling”

At 7pm tonight cyclists from the Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign and CTC will take to Manchester’s streets calling for more Space for Cycling.

The cyclists wind their way around the Manchester Central Convention Centre where the Conservative Party Conference 2015 is being held. The cyclists will stop briefly outside Bridgewater Hall to be addressed by Chair of the Commons Select Committee, Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, who will also be presented with a petition.

The petition compiled by GMCC calls for dedicated space for cycling on busy main roads and junctions, as well as a reduction of motor vehicle volumes and speeds on smaller roads

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP (Totnes) and Chair of the Commons Health Select Committee said:

“As a long time campaigner for cycling, I’m delighted to join GMCC and CTC today as they take to Manchester’s streets calling for Space for Cycling.

“Cycling’s benefits in terms of health and the economy are well documented, and I will continue to campaign for conditions which will make cycling safe and a viable transport option for all people, no matter their age or ability.”

The national Space for Cycling campaign – funded by a grant from the indusgtry’s Bike Hub levy – aims to create the conditions where people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities can cycle safely. It is targeted at councillors, seeking their support for improving cycling at a local level.

Manchester is one of eight cities to receive funding from the Department for Transport dedicated to improve cycling provision. GMCC campaigners point out cycling conditions in Manchester are beginning to improve but more needs to be done, citing bus stop bypasses and rat-run road closures as positive firsts steps.

Nick Hubble of the GMCC said:

“We’re slowly starting to see the sort of Space for Cycling Manchester has been crying out for, but there are still large parts of Greater Manchester which are yet to see any change.

“The case for providing better provision for cycling in Greater Manchester is stronger than ever. Over the summer the closure of the Mancunian Way combined with a range of roadworks across the city showed the fragility of a car-based design for the region’s transport system as the road network struggled to cope with the volume of displaced vehicles.

“Higher levels of cycling mean a cleaner, safer, healthier, less congested and more liveable city that benefits people who already cycle, people who would like to cycle more as well as people who don’t, and that’s why we’re demanding Space for Cycling this evening.”

Sam Jones, CTC Campaigns and Communications Coordinator, said:

“Changes to cycle conditions in the UK are reliant upon local authorities seeing the health and economic benefits of creating Space for Cycling. But it is Westminster which will provide the funds for them to do so.

“Today’s ride in Manchester has told a Conservative Government what cycling needs. Now they need to keep their promise and provide funding of at least £10 per head in the forthcoming Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy and the national design standards to ensure the money is well spent.”

347 schools to get awards for boosting levels of active travel

In 2015, 347 schools have achieved Modeshift STARS accreditation in recognition of their efforts to encourage their pupils to travel to school in greener and healthier ways. The STARS scheme recognises schools that have demonstrated excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable travel.

After receiving funding from the Bicycle Association to become the National School Travel Awards scheme in November 2014, the Modeshift STARS scheme has expanded to include 52 local authorities and more than 11,000 schools nationally.

Speaking of the scheme, Jonathan Green, Head Teacher at Modeshift STARS Gold school, Archbishop of York’s CofE Junior School in York, said:

“Modeshift STARS has brought our whole school community together. It is a brilliant scheme that has encouraged us to really look positively at how we travel to school and how we can take responsibility for our village.”


Neil Hunt, Head Teacher at Ladycross Infant School in Derbyshire, added:

“We have used the scheme as part of a wider ethos of being active and healthy as part of daily life. Modeshift STARS has really helped us focus on short term goals and embedding longer term changes in travelling sustainably as a whole school community. It’s a wonderfully simple scheme, but so effective.”

During October, STARS Regional Awards events will take place across the country at which schools will be recognised and rewarded for their commitment to the scheme. Awards will be distributed to schools of excellence in promoting walking and cycling and other forms of sustainable transport, whilst STARS Schools of the Region will be identified who will be pitted against one another to become the National STARS School of the Year.

The Bicycle Association’s Bike Hub levy fund provided £10,000 to help fund the scheme.

Ross Butcher, Chair of Modeshift, the scheme coordinator, said:

“Modeshift STARS presents a huge opportunity for us to collectively increase the number of children and young people that get more active on the journey to school. In a time of tight budgets and the government’s spending review just weeks away, it is vital that we recognise the efforts of our schools in making our communities happier, healthier places to live.”

He added: “In recent years, levels of walking and cycling to school have been in decline but it is not too late to turn things around. As our STARS schools have shown, by being creative and adopting a whole-school approach, we can increase levels of walking and cycling amongst young people bringing with it huge benefits in terms of reducing carbon emissions, fewer cars on the road and more active communities”.