STARS (Sustainable Travel Accreditation and Recognition for Schools) developed 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 attained a 5% modal shift from car to bike for journeys to school, and engaged over 270 primary and secondary schools across Europe.
As well as in Hackney, the project took 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 coordinated implementation of STARS on behalf of these cities.
Additional partners included Mobiel 21, responsible for development and knowledge transfer; DTV Consultants, who oversaw peer-to-peer engagement for students; Gea21 evaluated the project, and Polis were responsible for communication and dissemination of project activities.
How does STARS work?
STARS promoted sustainable methods of transport to school. It seeked to foster a life-long positive attitude to active travel in children, and at the same time encouraged 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 had 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 worked 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 held different events for cycling or educating pupils on the importance of sustainable and active travel.
STARS in Secondary schools
Secondary school students were 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 had the responsibility to campaign in their own school for pupils to make a sustainable change in their travel habits.
The Cycle Challenge offered a chance for schools across Europe to measure their progress against each other, and there were opportunities for pupils from different countries to communicate during the challenge.
STARS in your city
Running until 2016, STARS left a legacy of youth active travel, that once established continued in the participating regions.