Page last updated at 13 October 2015 at 09:28
Local schoolchildren from Botley Primary School have been recognised for their efforts to encourage their pupils to travel to school in greener, healthier and safer ways.
They received the award at the South, South East and South West STARS Regional Awards event and were presented with their Silver level STARS accreditation. The STARS scheme recognises schools that have demonstrated excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable travel.
Botley Primary is the first school in Eastleigh Borough to achieve their Silver STARS award, and one of only three in Hampshire. Throughout the borough six other schools have been successful in achieving their Bronze STARS accreditation and are now also working towards Silver.
This October, during International Walk to School Month, schools from across the country are being recognised as pillars of excellence for their efforts to promote more walking, cycling and scooting to school.
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. "
Cabinet Lead for Transport & Steetscene, Cllr David Airey, said: “It’s great that Botley Primary School has been recognised for its excellent work in encouraging more sustainable ways of getting to and from school. Increasing levels of walking and cycling amongst young people will bring huge benefits in terms of reducing carbon emissions, fewer cars on the road and more active communities”.
He added: “The Council works closely with schools on travel issues and we have seen an 8% increase in the numbers of children walking to schools in the borough since 2006, at a time when in many other areas fewer children are walking to school”.