Sawbridgeworth pupils swap the school run for active fun

Published: 04 Oct 2019

Pupils from five primary schools in and around Sawbridgeworth put their best foot forward for Hertfordshire County Council’s annual Sawbo Travel Challenge.

Students from Fawbert and Barnard, Mandeville, Reedings, Spellbrook and High Wych primary schools swapped the car for more active and greener modes of travel last week.

Now in its fourth year, The Sawbo Travel Challenge is all about promoting active travel, especially to and from school. Reducing the use of the car for these journeys is good for the environment and good for young people as well.

This year’s eco-extravaganza included fun themed daily activities such as Trainer Tuesday, Fun Hat Thursday and a Community Selfie Walk on Saturday morning, marking the end of the week.

Hertfordshire County Council’s dinosaur mascot Buster joined pupils from Mandeville Primary school on the first day of the challenge when they were urged to ‘Wear Something Green’ to greet Hertford and Stortford MP Mark Prisk who visited the school.

Mandeville Primary School won the National Modeshift STARS (Sustainable Travel Accreditation and Recognition for Schools) Award for Best Primary School for active travel 2019. They were presented with their accolade by the then Minister for Transport, Jessie Norman earlier this year.

All five schools have achieved national accreditation for their school travel plans with Modeshift STARS, a national schools awards scheme recognising schools that demonstrate excellence in supporting sustainable modes of travel.

Cabinet Member for Highways and Environment, Phil Bibby said: “This annual community event grows in popularity year on year and is much-loved by the children, parents, teachers and the whole community. It brings together schools, the town council, the police, community groups and Hertfordshire County Council.

“Each day pupils are encouraged to walk, scoot or cycle to school or park and stride to reduce the number of car journeys, so not only is it very good for the health of the children and the residents, but also the environment.”

Pupils from Spellbrook, who live too far from school to walk, were encouraged to park and stride the last part of their journey to school, accompanied by Buster on Thursday.

The week culminated with a Community Selfie Walk on Saturday, with children starting in the town centre and following a route which took them to various stands placed at key locations. The children collected items on the way and had a photo opportunity with Buster at the end.

An award ceremony will be held on 23 October at the Town Council Chambers, where there will be representatives from the five schools who will be presented with trophies by the Mayor.

The Active and Safer Travel Team work with schools across Hertfordshire on many road safety and sustainable travel initiatives. To find out more please contact us on