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Inspiring children to travel to school sustainably (Belgium)

By News Editor / Updated: 21 May 2015

The campaign 'Safe and Environment Friendly to School' realises up to 29 % more sustainable trips! During the year 2004-2005, a total number of approximately 76.800 pupils, 5.500 teachers, 3.900 classes and 55.500 parents have engaged themselves to let the car stay at home for at least one week.

Background & Objectives

 

Two out of three parents bring their children to school with their car despite the fact that most children live closeby. Children enjoy walking, cycling or taking public transport to school. This gives them a chance to talk to friends. Unfortunately many parents find the routes to school often too dangerous for walking or cycling they find it more convenient to ‘quickly’ drive the children with their car. The well-known consequence is that an increasing number of children are driven to school by car every day.

Since 2000-2001, Mobiel 21 has organised the campaign 'Safe and Environment Friendly to School' with the support of private partners. The campaign covers

 

  • the Traffic-Snake Game ©, a nice eye-catcher that stimulates children to use safe and sustainable modes of transport to school.
  • Next to this game a range of educational projects on transport and mobility are set up in the school.

 

Implementation

 

 

Through the game, schools stimulate children and their parents in a playful way to more walking and cycling.

Walking, stepping, cycling, taking the bus or using carpool are healthy and sustainable alternatives for parking chaos and turned on engines at the school gate. As a direct outcome there will be less car traffic at the school gate and the discussion on traffic safety is opened. Often the traffic snake game is just a first step to a bigger, more organised transport and mobility project for the whole school.

Each time a pupil comes to school with a sustainable mode of transport (walking, cycling, using the bus or carpool), during the campaign week, they receive a little red dot. Pupils that use a bike and who are using their bicycle helmets receive 2 dots as this behaviour increases their safety.
 

 

Results 2004-2005

 

Up to 29 % more sustainable trips! During the year 2004-2005, a total number of approximately 76.800 pupils, 5.500 teachers, 3.900 classes and 55.500 parents have engaged themselves to let the car stay at home for at least one week. For the regions of Flanders this means that two primary schools out of ten participated in the campaign.

Before the campaign the sustainable trips were measured at 51%, this rose with 29% during the action mid May 2005 up till 80%. After the action mid June 2005 we still registered 63% sustainable trips. Still an increase of 12% compared to the situation before the campaign (data registries with 8.887 children). The amount of helmets increased with 19% during the campaign, and maintained a surplus of 9% after the campaign.
 

 

Link and future prospects

 

Interested parties can contact Mobiel 21, more details can be found at:

 

 

A success factor lies within combining the game with content based mobility projects fitting the local needs. The proposal was successfull and the EU funded CONNECT project (2007-2010), which focused on Sustainable Mobility Campaigns for Young People has now finished. The project successfully increased the use of sustainable transport modes and reduced CO2 over the three years of the project. CONNECT reached almost 85,000 pupils and over 5,000 teachers from more than 350 schools in nine countries. Collectively they saved over 1,000,000 car kilometres. CONNECT showed that great results can be achieved through co-operation and networking. The website and more information can be found at http://www.schoolway.net.

Topic: 
Walking and cycling
Mobility management
Country: 
Belgium
City: 
Flanders Region
Author: 
Raf Canters
Keywords: 
measures - campaigns
measures - awareness raising
MM for schools
11 Apr 2006
21 May 2015
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