Schools urged to support Devon Car Free Day

PUBLISHED: 17:01 14 September 2009 | UPDATED: 00:10 16 June 2010

A CHALLENGE has been issued to schools across the county to support Devon Car Free Day on Tuesday 22 September.

A CHALLENGE has been issued to schools across the county to support Devon Car Free Day on Tuesday 22 September.

Devon County Council is inviting pupils and teachers to see just how few cars they can use for the journey to school, and to take photographs of creative ways teachers and pupils travel on the day. There will be a county wide competition of schools' favourite photographs and the winning entry will receive £100 of book vouchers for the school.

Devon Car Free Day is organised as part of Devon County Council's TravelWise campaign and supports International In Town Without My Car Day.

Among those pledging their support this year are Morchard Bishop Primary School, who are organising competitions for placard making, fancy dress and the most unusual ways of travelling to school, and Whipton Barton Junior School in Exeter are also getting creative.

Ruth Maxwell, Year Four teacher at Whipton Barton Junior School, said: "Our pupils have already been thinking about alternative ways that they can come to school which include hopskotch, the conga, hoolahooping and of course cycling, as we are a Bike It school. All pupils and staff will be able to participate in a green travellers' breakfast on 22 September courtesy of Sustrans."

Last year, Bideford College pulled out all the stops on the day with teachers Yolande Eldridge riding a horse to school and Anthony Davis cycling 25 miles from North Molton. Other teaching and technician staff from the science department also made a special effort on the day, with Denis Ford sailing from Appledore to Crow Point to pick up his colleague Stuart Young, who had cycled to the river from Braunton. The pair then returned to Appledore to collect fellow staff members Stan Pyle and Jo Thomas, before sailing to Bideford and walking to school.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: "I hope that Devon schools will encourage staff and pupils' parents to support Devon Car Free Day by leaving their cars at home. Walking, cycling or using public transport are all relatively simple ways in which people can reduce traffic congestion outside of the school gates while reducing their carbon footprint."

Schools will receive a list of ideas of ways in which they can support the day, including a bikers' and walkers' breakfasts, walking to school in fancy dress, or launching a walking bus or cycle train. And of course you can think of the wackiest way to travel such as a pogo stick, space hopper, or tandem. Sustainable School Travel Advisors can help with ideas for prizes for the most creative ways to get to school by emailing stplans@devon.gov.uk

Schools should contact Lesley Smith, Devon County Council TravelWise Officer, if they intend to support the day or require further information. Email travelwise@devon.gov.uk


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