Croydon kids: Park the car! Let’s walk and ride

Proud children by their bikes. Pic: Rockmount Primary School

Proud children by their bikes. Pic: Rockmount Primary School

A teacher from a Croydon primary school has explained the methods that led them to win a gold TfL award for cutting car use and promoting more environmentally friendly modes of travel

Rockmount Primary, in Upper Norwood, was awarded a gold standard in TfL’s ‘Sustainable Travel: Active, Responsible, Safe’ scheme at last month’s awards ceremony at City Hall.

The ‘STARS’ programme provides guidance for nurseries, schools and colleges to help them establish a travel programme aimed at reducing the number of journeys made in cars by its pupils, parents and staff. It rewards institutions that promote healthier ways to attend.

Rockmount teacher, Suzanne Jessel, explained how pupils were heavily involved in reducing the amount of journeys to the school that were made by car: “One child per class would stand with a list of their class outside the school gates in the morning checking how their class mates were coming to school.”

She continued: “We did that for 18 months and that had a big impact on parents who might drop their children outside the school gates in their cars.  They had to do so in front of 16 vigilant pupils and a member of staff would go and talk to them about the merits of starting the day with some healthy exercise and how we were trying to make the school road a safe zone for the majority of children who were cycling, walking and scooting to school.”

Children monitoring pupils journeys. Pic: Rockmount Primary School

Children monitoring pupils’ journeys to school. Pic: Rockmount Primary School

Croydon Councillor Jason Perry acknowledged the school’s achievement saying: “Staff and pupils at Rockmount are to be congratulated for the enthusiasm they have shown for this important initiative. I’m delighted that their hard work has been recognised in this fashion and I hope that other schools in the borough will follow this lead.”

Leon Daniels, Managing Director of TfL Surface Transport, added: “We want to ensure that travelling in London is a happy, healthy and safe experience for young people and their families.”

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