Transport for London has organised an event at City Hall to recognise the efforts of schools who have promoted active travel choices.
As part of the STARS program (Sustainable Travel: Active Responsible Safe), schools in the Capital have been tasked with reducing levels of personal motorised travel too and from educational facilities. 1,248 primary and secondary schools (around 40 per cent) across all London boroughs now take part in the drive, a 16 per cent growth year-on-year.
Schools earn accreditation at three levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold, achieving a higher level of accreditation based on the number of travel initiatives and their effectiveness in delivering a move away from car use. Since 2004, Transport for London believes the program has seen an overall eight per cent decrease in car journeys too and from schools.
School of the Region awards are now to be handed to the primary and secondary schools with the best records in bringing about active travel changes.
Leon Daniels, managing director of TfL Surface Transport, said: 'We want to ensure that travelling in London is a happy, healthy and safe experience for young people and their families. We are delighted to invite London's top performing schools to the STARS event, to thank them for their commitment to encourage the whole school community to make safer and active choices, which will stay with them for life. We'd also like to thank these schools in particular for being an inspiration and example to all schools in London showing what can be achieved.'
The Government, meanwhile, doesn't seem to share the same vision, having ditched plans to open an Office for Active travel earlier this year.
The Welsh Assembly on the other hand last month published the Active Travel Wales Act, which sees a duty placed on local authorities to plan fresh walking and cycling routes.