Safe routes to school
The main goal of the measure was to increase the total share of citizens that use sustainable mobility modes, and to change the habits of local people and elementary school pupils. Also, the aim of the action ‘Safe Routes to Schools’ was to achieve successful parental and pupil mode shift through separate workshops at each participating school. The target was to increase safety during peak hours in order to reduce accidents and increase pupils’ awareness of sustainable modes of transport to school. A resulting positive impact on public health may also be achieved regarding obesity among young children, by motivating them to do more cycling and walking.
Implementing sustainable mobility
Stratagem Energy Ltd, in collaboration with Limassol Tourism Board, gained permission from the Ministry of Education and Culture to communicate with schools and to implement workshops at primary schools. The Police-Traffic Department supported the workshops. A feasibility study was implemented to organize and find which schools were able to be visited according to a prepared timetable.
Several meetings were held with school principals and teachers in order to prepare the workshops based on the needs of students and a letter was sent from schools to parents to invite them to the workshops. Video material about safety to use sustainable modes of mobility (walking, cycling use of public transport and carpooling) was prepared and promoted to schools during workshops.
Two questionnaires were also prepared (between 2018-2019 and 2019-2020) for parents regarding students’ accessibility to school. The aim of the questionnaires was to promote sustainable mobility modes and to give real information about the way students are going to school such as the duration of their journeys, the reason for their chosen modes, their concerns regarding using cycling and walking to school and evaluation of solutions.
During the action ‘Safe Routes to Schools’, 46 primary schools of Limassol were identified. In total 2.449 students participated.Workshops included presentations about road safety, cycling, walking, carpooling and the use of public transport.
Also, experimental games took place regarding the benefits gained from walking to school, road signs, stimulation of traffic park, cycling park with games and activities by bike and a pedestrian crossing zebra with guidance outside schools. Discussions were held with parents and students about traffic problems during peak hours and solutions proposed.
A video focused on student education regarding ‘Safe routes to school’ has been prepared.
The good cooperation with stakeholders, the Ministry of Education and Culture and especially with schools’ communities resulted in the successful implementation of the measure.
- Awareness of the school community about the student’s accessibility to schools - 100% of the students’ parents were aware about the need for workshops at schools to educate students and parents on road safety and the use of sustainable mobility modes to commute to schools.
- Increased the number of involved schools - 46 schools participated in the action.
- Increased the number of informed students - 2,449 students actively participated during the 3-years of workshops and training sessions.
- Increased the sustainable mobility among students - After one year of workshops and training sessions students stop going to/from school by private car by 21%, increased carpooling by 25%, limited the use of bus by 2% and chose to walk to school by 4%.