pupils in a school class
Credit: Torfaen Council

More than 80 per cent of Torfaen primary schools have taken part in a recent active travel survey – the highest number across Wales.

Hundreds of pupils in 25 schools took part in the Public Health Wales Travel to School Hands Up survey in June 2023.

The survey is essential to developing a clear understanding of how improvements can be made to encourage pupils to walk and cycle to school.

It comes as schools across the borough take part in Sustrans Big Walk and Wheel Week, which aims to encourage active travel.

One of those who took part was Garnteg Primary School.

Christine Jones, Deputy Headteacher, Garnteg Primary School, said: “At Garnteg we have been working hard to encourage more pupils to use Active travel to get to school.

“We were thrilled to present our findings of active travel by our pupils in a whole school assembly.

“We have enjoyed taking part in the survey and checking our progress on the leader board each day.”

Councillor Mandy Owen, Executive Member for the Environment, said: “The results from the survey show that 47% of children in Torfaen travel actively to and from school which is great. However, we would love more children to travel actively because not only is it great for the environment, but it’s good for health and well-being.

“Surveys like this are so important because they are vital in helping us plan for the future of active travel routes near schools.

“Therefore, I would like to thank primary schools for getting involved in the survey. It really is a great achievement!”

Mark Thomas, Deputy Chief Officer Highways & Climate Change, said: “I would like to thank our Active Travel team for working closely with primary schools to get them on board with the survey. I know a lot of time is spent engaging with primary schools and it is clearly paying off.”

Jason O’Brien, Strategic Director for Children and Family Services, said: “I would like to say thank you to the dedicated staff and students for their enthusiastic participation in the recent active travel survey.

“It’s great to hear that our schools are keen to get involved in important surveys when they are juggling so much as it is.”

Torfaen Council’s Active Travel team is working with schools to develop individual Active Travel School Plans.

Eight schools have school active travel plans in place and another eight are in the process of developing plans.

Find out more about active travel in Torfaen