Reducing car use

Reducing the number of single person car journeys at Ysgol Y Cymer.

What did you do and how did you involve the whole school?

Pupils asked all staff to complete a questionnaire to establish how they travelled to school . Eco-Committee asked if teachers would be willing to/able to consider car sharing. The questionnaire results showed that 97% of the 80 staff  travelled to school by car, only 14% shared a lift every day with 76% sharing once a month/never. Despite this almost 50% of staff said they would consider car sharing/would be able to car share.

Pupils sought permission from senior management to set up a dedicated ‘car share campaign day’ to encourage staff to travel to school sustainably and decided to monitor the ongoing success of their campaign by counting the number of cars using the car park each week.

To encourage sustainable travel, staff were given a fact sheet of the benefits of car sharing highlighting the environmental benefits of less vehicles on the road along with the health benefits of not having to drive each day. The initial action day went ahead and pupils continued the campaign asking staff to share cars on a Friday. 6th form pupils were also asked to travel to school on the buses provided.

As a supplementary piece of work and to broaden pupil understanding and to further reduce the number of car journeys, pupils were asked as part of their class work to consider the food miles attached to the food they were eating.

How and why did you decide on this target?

During the environmental review, transport was highlighted as a target area. Pupils recognised that due to the school catchment area most pupils already walked to school or travelled on public transport. Pupils therefore decided to tackle the number of solo car journeys taken by  staff and 6th form students.

How has the project impacted on your school and your community?

The success of the project has grown over the course of the year. Overall pupils reported an improvement of 20% between terms 1 and 3, with an even bigger improvement following a change to the way 6th form pupils were asked to travel to school. Pupils recorded a 50% reduction in the number of cars using the car park.

How did you celebrate success and what are your next steps?

Pupils will continue to monitor the initiative with a dedicated day for car sharing on a Friday.