Young people are being urged to get into sustainable travel through a programme of cutting-edge projects to get more young people to cycle, walk and take public transport to school.
Schools Go Smarter is a Tyne and Wear-wide suite of green travel projects aimed at primary and secondary school children and their parents and carers paid for by a £5m grant from the Department for Transport as well as funding from councils across Tyne and Wear.
Among the projects on offer to schools are cycle training for nursery-aged children, grants for school cycle sheds, child pedestrian training and school walking competitions.
To find out more about the projects go to www.gosmarter.co.uk
Cllr David Wood, Chairman of the Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority said: “Walking, cycling and taking public transport to and from school is good for young people, good for our economy and good for the environment.
“These projects underline how small initiatives, for example holding bike breakfasts for kids who cycle to school, can encourage a lot more young people to get on their bikes.”
The projects have also received a statement of support from Transport Minister Norman Baker MP who said he was impressed by the range and scope of the Go Smarter projects.
Schools Go Smarter projects will run until March 2015 and will be delivered by the Tyne and Wear local authorities and Nexus as well as national charities Sustrans and Living Streets.
A launch event at Hadrian School in South Tyneside was attended by young people from across Tyne and Wear who got to the event by bus, Metro, Shields Ferry, by foot and by bike, as well as local MP David Miliband.
Hadrian School was chosen for the launch because of its successful track record of getting more pupils to cycle to and from lessons.
Cycling charity Sustrans has praised its attempts to establish a cycling culture and it recently came third in the Sustrans ‘Big Pedal’ virtual bike ride.