Harrogate schools green travel awards.

Two Harrogate schools have been recognised for their achievements in inspiring more children and parents to choose to walk or cycle instead of taking the car on the school run.

Harrogate College has received a bronze award in the national Modeshift STARS accreditation scheme while Harrogate High School has gained a Green award.

Modeshift STARS recognises schools that show brilliance in promoting, supporting and increasing sustainable and active travel within their schools to improve the health and wellbeing of young people.

North Yorkshire County Council’s executive member for highways and transportation, Cllr Keane Duncan, said: “It’s great to see students, parents and staff recognised for their efforts to encourage sustainable and healthy ways of travelling to school.

“Young people and their families have embraced opportunities to walk, cycle or share vehicles – an example we can all follow to improve the environment, promote active lifestyles and tackle congestion.”

Harrogate College achieved its award by offering a cycle to work scheme, providing Active Travel Harrogate maps at reception, encouraging car sharing and having a bespoke Travel to Harrogate College leaflet available to download on the college website.

To develop a programme of activities to promote sustainable travel Harrogate High School has used the Modeshift STARS Award as a tool to help plan how both students and staff intend to develop travel awareness.

Year 11 student Harry Brown added: “It’s vitally important for schools to encourage students to use sustainable travel to attend school as habits developed at a young age, such as walking instead of driving, remain for a lifetime. In order to achieve net zero, we all have a moral duty to do as much as we can to reduce our environmental footprint. The Modeshift travel accreditation scheme allows realistic changes to be achieved and helps to promote sustainability to young people. Since participating in the scheme, students have become more aware of the importance of sustainable travel and our bike sheds are now regularly overflowing.”

All schools in the county have the opportunity to register for free and plan sustainable travel initiatives to achieve their Modeshift STARS award. Schools interested in joining the scheme can contact the county council’s sustainable travel team at opennorthyorkshire@northyorks.gov.uk. They can also provide fully funded support to businesses to work towards national Modeshift STARS Business accreditation. It can support businesses in creating a travel plan to promote and encourage active travel to work, to help achieve net zero targets. Any business owners who would like to know more can email opennorthyorkshire@northyorks.gov.uk.