Students invited to champion safe and sustainable travel

Secondary school students in three North Yorkshire towns are being invited to become advocates for active, responsible and safe travel in their school communities.

Bikes in a rack at a school

The Youth Travel Ambassador (YTA) programme provides people aged 11 to 19 with the skills and confidence to promote such things as cycling, scooting, walking or taking the bus. It also looks at congestion and pollution at the school gates.

YTA teams research and develop campaigns to change travel behaviour to make an impact in their school, while developing skills in leadership, project management, marketing and promotion, and collecting and analysing data.

North Yorkshire County Council is working with PWLC Projects to deliver the YTA programme in secondary schools and colleges in Harrogate, Scarborough and Skipton as part of its Open North Yorkshire sustainable travel programme. Workshops will be delivered to support students in developing their campaigns. The focus of campaigns will be up to the students, using their ideas, led by them and on issues they feel are important to them, their school and the wider community.

Participating schools will be able to apply for a grant of up to £500 to deliver their campaign ideas, with students pitching in a Dragons’ Den-style event.

Road safety team leader Fiona Ancell, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for students to be involved in projects that can benefit the environment and safety on the roads around their schools, while helping them to develop their confidence and life skills.”

YTA is a national programme being offered in North Yorkshire for the first time. It is scheduled to run until March 2020.

Places are available to secondary schools and colleges in Harrogate, Scarborough and Skipton. Contact opennorthyorkshire@northyorks.gov.uk to arrange an initial discussion.

This story was published 26 November 2019