Hampshire County Council scoops national awards for supporting walking and cycling in communities

Hampshire County Council’s Travel Planning Team has received national recognition in this year’s Modeshift National Sustainable Travel Awards which celebrate best practice in supporting and encouraging sustainable travel with education providers, workplaces and communities

Nov 13 2020

Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader of Hampshire County Council and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, said: “Well-deserved congratulations are due to our dedicated travel planning team, and the staff and families at the schools and education settings we work with as well as places of employment.  
“Across Hampshire, we have achieved national accreditation through Modeshift STARS by working with schools to develop sustainable travel plans. The result of this is a reduction of travel to school by car alone in Hampshire by approximately 20,000 journeys every day in over a decade.”

Helen Harris, who manages the County Council’s Travel Planning Team, was awarded a new ‘Honorary Member’ accolade in recognition of her contribution to encouraging sustainable travel.

The County Council also received the award for Excellence in Walking for the ongoing school challenge during International Walk to School Month, or locally called ‘Walktober’.

Launched in 2016, Walktober is run annually for schools during October to celebrate International Walk to School Month - a celebration of active travel that highlights the importance of walking to school and its positive impact on health, wellbeing, safety and the environment. The initiative has grown from 13 schools participating in 2016 to 145 schools (representing over 50,000 pupils) in 2020. 

Councillor Judith Grajewski, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Public Health, added: “Travelling actively to nursery and school by walking, cycling or scooting can make a positive difference to health by keeping us physically and mentally fit and able to handle life’s ups and downs. This also means less short car journeys are taken which will improve the quality of the air, so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of cleaner, healthier, safer and quieter streets. Many congratulations to all involved”

The final award was for Best Project under £1,000, for work the team did to support schools, families and children on planning their journey to school when transitioning to their next phase of education. ‘Transition Time’ was developed as a new resource to support pupils, and their parents, starting in Year R, Year 3 and Year 7 in September 2020 at a time when the Coronavirus pandemic prevented the school visits students would ordinarily make to their new schools in the Summer term. The toolkits are designed to lead families through the process of planning their new journey to school and, as much as possible, keeping it active, safe, pollution-free and sustainable.

These projects were developed by the County Council on behalf of both Hampshire and Southampton using the My Journey active travel brand and has ensured continued partnership working and joined-up messaging across the two authority areas to encourage a healthy start to the day for young people as well as reducing congestion on the roads at busy times.