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Winning pupils from last year's competition
Winning pupils from last year's competition

Young designers put best foot forward for road safety

Winning pupils from last year's competition

Winning pupils from last year’s competition

(Issued on behalf of South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership)

Budding young designers have until the end of next week to put their ‘best foot forward’ in a competition geared to highlighting the benefits of walking or cycling to school.

Friday, April 22, is the closing date for entries in the ‘Design a Footprint Badge’ competition as part of the annual South Yorkshire 10 Day Active Travel Challenge being held in June.

Pupils in primary schools across South Yorkshire are being invited to draw and colour a design inside an outlined footprint – with the winner seeing their design turned into a real badge.

This will be given out to pupils who take part and complete the challenge, which tests primary school pupils on just how active they are when they travel to school.

So far, some 40 schools from across the county have pledged to take up the challenge, which is throwing down the gauntlet to pupils, parents and school staff to see if they can ditch the car or the bus for ten consecutive days and travel to school in an ‘active’ way, such as by walking, scooting or cycling.

The free event runs from Monday, June 13, until Friday, June 24, and everyone taking part, including parents and staff, have the chance of winning some fantastic individual and class prizes.

Innovative prizes are also up for grabs for the schools themselves. They can benefit from prizes such as scooter storage, performances by a theatre company and even themed guided walk-to-school events.

One prize is a walk to school event with the Green Top Circus, the famous Sheffield-based educational circus hub. To be in with a chance, schools need to act now by taking an ‘active travel’ photo that involves their individual school. Entries should be e-mailed or Tweeted by the end of April.

The Active Travel Challenge is geared to reducing congestion and traffic levels outside infant, nursery and junior schools as well as improving the health and fitness of the youngsters who attend them. Air quality is also improved when families ditch their vehicles for the school run and turn to walking, scooting and cycling.

Organised by Active Travel co-ordinator Kathryn Harrison, who is a member of the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership, this is the second year that the challenge invitation has been extended county wide after it was originally launched a number of years ago just for schools within the Sheffield borough.

Last year, 118 schools from across the county took part in either the summer term challenge held in June or the repeat event in October and now Kathryn is urging schools to get registered before the deadline of Friday, May 27. Schools can either email Kathryn.harrison@sheffield.gov.uk  use Twitter @ sccactivetravel or ring 07929 319521 for further information about the challenge itself as well as the design and photo competitions.

Joanne Wehrle, Safer Roads Education Manager for the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership, said that traffic congestion outside schools causes real concern amongst schools, parents and residents.

She added: “Anything that can reduce that congestion has to be encouraged and this challenge also reveals the huge health benefits that can be gained from leaving the car at home. It also gives youngsters the opportunity to learn and improve their road safety skills, which they need to learn as they get older. They cannot learn these skills if they are driven to school every day so this challenge is an excellent chance for them to experience roads and traffic conditions under the guidance of a supervising adult.”

The aim of the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership is to reduce the number of people injured in road traffic collisions and to make the roads of South Yorkshire safer.

The Partnership Team is available to provide advice, training, support and information on a variety of topics including safety for pedestrians, cyclists, powered two wheeled riders and drivers.  If you would like some road safety advice, please visit us at www.lifewise999.co.uk/road-safety or email saferroads@southyorks.pnn.police.uk

The South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership is made up of Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield Councils, Highways England, SYPTE, the University of Sheffield, the Yorkshire Ambulance Service,  public health bodies, South Yorkshire Police (including South Yorkshire Safety Cameras), Peak District National Park Authority and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue.

Further information can be found by visiting the Lifewise website at www.lifewise999.co.uk/road-safety or by calling 01709 832462 or following on  Twitter at @safer_roads

For all media enquiries or to request interviews, please contact Ann Todd, Communications Officer for the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership on 01709 832462 or by e-mailing ann.todd@rotherham.gov.uk