Dunstable school's eco-friendly transport gains national recognition


St Augustine’s Academy, who are based in Dunstable, has become the first school in Central Bedfordshire to achieve a bronze level Modeshift STARS award, a national scheme that aims to reduce the number of cars used on journeys to school.

The scheme, funded by the Department for Transport’s Access Fund, recognises schools who demonstrate excellence in promoting, supporting and increasing sustainable forms of travelling to school, in order to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people.

The Academy were presented with their award on Monday (17 June). To achieve the accreditation, St Augustine’s Academy has been working closely with Bike It Officers from Sustrans, who are funded by Central Bedfordshire Council, to take part in many initiatives which encourage their pupils to walk, cycle and scoot to school. The activities included Dr Bike maintenance sessions, cycle and scooter training, and participating in cycle competitions such as the Big Pedal and the Santa Challenge.

Justine Fourmy, Teacher, Charlotte Secker, Travel Plan Officer, Richard Noon, Bike It Officer and students from St Augustine’s Academy

Councillor Kevin Collins, Executive Member for Planning and Regeneration at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “I am thrilled that one of our schools has been recognised for its commitment to encouraging more sustainable forms of travel to and from school.

“As well as helping pupils and parents to be healthier, schools that encourage walking, cycling and scooting have far less traffic congestion during school run times, which improves local air quality and provides a safer environment around the school gates.

“We’d encourage other schools to take part in the Modeshift STARS initiative and help their pupils be more active and stay healthy. Excitingly, we have a few other schools in the area that have also almost reached bronze level.”

Every school in England (outside of London) can participate in Modeshift STARS for free. Schools can reach three levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Schools interested in joining the scheme should contact the council’s Travel Choices Team

Report by KW, Central Bedfordshire Council