A Darlington business has partnered with a scheme backed by the Department for Transport (DfT) to encourage smarter and healthier travel planning.
The firm, PWLC Projects LLP, are a transport consultancy and have an office in Darlington’s Business Central and in London.
Working throughout the country with schools and businesses, their sixteen members of staff deliver projects which are all focused on improving air quality, encouraging transport behaviour change and creating sustainable communities.
Nick Butler – who is a partner of PWLC – said that being an official partner of the DfT-backed Modeshift STARS scheme allows them to educate more young people about travelling to school in an active, healthy and safe way.
Modeshift STARS is a national award scheme for schools which recognises and rewards schools that make an effort to implement more sustainable modes of travel. Modeshift recently held their National STARS Celebration event at the Houses of Parliament to recognise the National STARS Schools of the Year for 2018.
As official partners of the scheme, PWLC have just started working with Doncaster Council on behalf of the whole of South Yorkshire and the Sheffield City Region to promote sustainable travel.
Mr Butler says it’s about getting young people to be healthier – something which schools will benefit from.
He said: “Our team will put together a bespoke support package for each school that we work with to get kids involved in fun activities so they enjoy learning about the benefits of active and sustainable travel.
“This could be walking or cycling to school, or getting parents to share a car on the school run – if possible, as well as encouraging some drivers to get out of the habit of letting their engine run while doing pick-ups or drop-offs.”
The scheme rewards schools by giving them national recognition via a bronze, silver or gold accreditation.
“The accreditation allows schools to showcase their success and the results of effective implementation will mean less congestion on nearby roads around schools, making them a safer place,” Nick explained.
“And the pupils will also be healthier if they’re walking or cycling to school.”
PWLC are aiming to work with more businesses across the Tees Valley in the development and implementation of workplace travel plans. The company will work with local businesses to address parking and congestion issues whilst helping companies deliver on their corporate social responsibility objectives.
Nick added: “At Business Central we’re in a very accessible location being right next to Darlington’s train station. This means not only can we practise what we preach, but we’re also just two-and-a-half hours away from London meaning we can reach out to work with businesses across the country.
“Not only does sustainable travel help a business’ employees become healthier, it also helps a business save money in the long run – staff will have less sick days and the company car park will be less congested. It’s very expensive for a business to run a car park.”
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