Five Stort Valley schools put a spring in their step as champions of sustainable travel

Published: 22 Mar 2019


Walking, cycling and scootering pupils put their best feet forward on the first day of spring for a colourful Olympic torch-style relay, all to demonstrate their eco-friendly efforts.

Called ‘Put a Spring in Your Step’, the event was organised by Hertfordshire County Council and involved five schools in Sawbridgeworth and Spellbrook who have been collaborating as part of the Sawbo Travel Challenge Group.

The schools have worked hard to promote active travel and improve the fitness of their pupils; in 2017 the group received the runner up prize for Best Partnership at the national awards for travel plans at Modeshift STARS, a national school awards scheme established to recognise those supporting active and sustainable forms of travel.

This was followed by Mandeville Primary School travelling to Portcullis House at the Houses of Parliament earlier this month to receive the Modeshift National Award for Best Primary School, from The Minister for Transport,  Jesse Norman MP.

Outlining Wednesday’s event, Lindsey Day, Senior Road Safety Officer at Hertfordshire County Council said: “Taking the first leg of the torch relay were children from Spellbrook C of E Primary who launched the event with the help of our popular mascot, ‘Buster the Steposauras’.

“Cheers erupted as he lapped the playground before handing over the torch to a group of local cyclists who were supported by the local police as they pedalled off to Mandeville Primary School. Buster greeted the children before leaving for the next stage of the relay with pupils travelling by scooter.”

Children from Reedings Junior School set up a mini relay around the playground for their pupils to take part in and a group then ran the torch to Fawbert and Barnard Infant School. The pupils ran the torch around the school’s Daily Mile Track, joined by the school’s Eco Warriors who were then led by Buster to the Town Council Offices to greet the Moving Mums running group.

They completed the last leg by running all the way to High Wych Primary CE School. As the torch arrived at its final destination, the children joined the Moving Mums on their scooters to complete the final lap of the playground.

Lindsey said: “Once again Sawbridgeworth has led the way in supporting and promoting active travel to school. The partnership between the schools, Sawbridgeworth Town Council and Hertfordshire County Council, with the support of the police, shows the power of community spirt.

“A big thank you to the cycling group and Moving Mums who once again joined the relay.”

The partnership has also been shortlisted in the top five nominations for national walking charity The Living Streets Charles Maher Award, with the results due to be announced at the end of the month.

Increasing the number of children walking, scooting and cycling has had a positive effect on reducing the number of cars driving to school, which helps to improve air quality and road safety around the school.

Hertfordshire County Council works with schools across the county on road safety and sustainable travel initiatives. To find out more please contact us on activeandsafertravel@hertfordshire.gov.uk

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