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Youth travel ambassadors at The Cardinal Wiseman School giving a presentation of their project

Youth travel ambassadors lead the way on active travel

As part of the council’s Get Moving campaign, cycling, walking or scooting is highly recommended – especially when taking short trips around the borough. A Dragons Den style event showcased proposals from pupils for encouraging families to travel to and from school in these ways.

Youth Travel Ambassadors (YTA) from eight local schools came together recently at Ealing Town Hall for a morning of discussions, planning and pitching with support from Transport for London (TfL).

The Dragons Den style event was run by Hannah Basham, youth travel ambassadors coordinator at TfL, who said: “The Youth Travel Ambassador programme provides young people aged 11 to 19 with the skills and confidence to address transport issues affecting their school community. This campaign junction was the first project milestone, where students had the opportunity to pitch their proposals to an expert panel, receiving professional feedback and funding to get their projects off the ground.”

With support from TfL, school staff and the council, YTA teams research and develop behaviour change campaigns, focusing on active travel, road safety and improving the passenger experience, supporting the Mayor of London’s transport strategy for the capital. Some of the ideas presented on the day included making road safety promotional videos, running cycle training and £250 in funding was awarded for each team to take their ideas away and implement them.

Ross Butcher, TfL’s customer marketing and behaviour change manager, who was part of the panel on the day commented: “I was impressed by both the professionalism of the campaign presentations and the creative ideas of the Ealing YTAs. The students came with well researched and thought out ideas, demonstrating a clear motivation to improve school travel in their community.”

‘Allows students to develop key skills’

Councillor Yvonne Johnson, the council’s cabinet member for schools and children’s services, said: “The Youth Travel Ambassador programme not only helps to promote the message of active and safe travel within schools but also allows students to develop key skills in areas such as public speaking, leadership and project management.

“It is important to get around the borough safely. And it is important to stay physically active to remain healthy. By educating their fellow pupils in fun and engaging ways, YTA students help more school children understand the benefits of ‘active travel’ and how to stay safe on Ealing’s roads.”

Get your school involved

Deciding to take an active means of transport instead of sitting in a car or on public transport can reduce the risk of suffering serious health conditions, cut congestion on the roads, help to improve air quality for all, as well reduce your contribution to climate change.

If your school would like to take action on road safety and promote life-saving messaging through the annual YTA programme, you can find guidance, a programme guide and more by heading to the TfL website here.

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