STARS (Sustainable Travel Accreditation and Recognition for Schools) will develop a pan-EU accreditation scheme and a peer-to-peer engagement programme to get more children cycling to school in 9 EU cities, including the London Borough of Hackney. The project will attain a 5% modal shift from car to bike for journeys to school, and engage over 270 primary and secondary schools across Europe.
As well as in Hackney, the project will take place in Bielefeld in Germany, Brussels in Belgium, Budapest in Hungary, Edinburgh in Scotland, Krakow in Poland, Madrid in Spain, Milan in Italy and the Dutch Province of Noord Brabant. LEPT coordinates implementation of STARS on behalf of these cities.
Additional partners include Mobiel 21, responsible for development and knowledge transfer; DTV Consultants, who oversee peer-to-peer engagement for students; Gea21 will evaluate the project, and Polis are responsible for communication and dissemination of project activities.
How does STARS work?
STARS will promote sustainable methods of transport to school. It seeks to foster a life-long positive attitude to active travel in children, and at the same time encourage parents and families to reconsider how they travel, specifically to get children to school. Car journeys to school take place at rush hour, but they also commonly involve two trips, there and back. Removing these journeys from the road, and encouraging the family to travel by alternative means, offers an efficient method to cut congestion and decrease emissions.
The project has two tiers, allowing it to reach both primary and secondary school pupils in different ways.
STARS in Primary schools
Based on a successful programme already developed by Modeshift STARS, primary schools will work towards achieving Bronze, Silver or Gold certification, a measure of the school and pupils’ commitment to and accomplishment of a change in how their pupils travel to school. To reach these levels schools can hold different events for cycling, or educate pupils on the importance of sustainable and active travel.
STARS in Secondary schools
Secondary school students are being encouraged and assisted to design campaigns to increase cycling amongst their peers through a network of Youth Travel Ambassador Schemes and an annual Cycle Challenge.
Youth Travel Ambassadors will have responsibility to campaign in their own school for pupils to make a sustainable change in their travel habits.
The Cycle Challenge offers a chance for schools across Europe to measure their progress against each other, and there will be opportunities for pupils from different countries to communicate during the challenge.
STARS in your city
Initially running until 2016, STARS will leave a legacy of youth active travel, and once established will continue in the participating regions. Other cities and regions are invited to join, and the hope is that STARS will spread further across Europe. As a successful and proven method of behavioural change, STARS has a wide role to play in ensuring a healthier and more environmentally-friendly future.
For more information please visit the STARS project website and sign up for the STARS newsletter for regular updates. If you have any questions about the STARS project please contact a member of the LEPT team.