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SCHOOL SERVICE SAVES CO2 EQUIVALENT OF TWO ELEPHANTS

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Highgate School bus service has reduced parental reliance on cars, cutting approximately 13,000 car journeys to and from Highgate throughout 2018.

Elliot Prescott, Highgate’s Transport Manager, explains: ‘Looking at last term, we estimate there were around 4,800 fewer individual car journeys to and from Highgate. We calculated this by counting the number of School bus journeys, where pupils would otherwise travel by car. This means, in just one term, our School bus service saved approximately ten tonnes of CO2 - nearly the weight of two fully-grown African elephants!’

Our Highgate School bus service began in September 2016. Our flagship sustainable transport initiative, it is designed to accommodate the needs of working families and reduce reliance on individual cars, thus reducing congestion and improving air quality locally. It also enables more of our pupils to travel to school together socially.

Elliot adds: ‘Passenger numbers are consistently growing and one of our buses is set to double in size. This has also enabled us to reduce costs by 22% in the past year. Our School bus prices look likely to fall further during our Summer term.’

Last month, Highgate received a “School of Excellence” award from Transport for London, in recognition of our School bus service success and other activities to reduce reliance on cars. This award, given to Highgate ahead of over 1600 London schools, means we are now a Gold STARS school for our efforts to increase sustainable travel.

Highgate’s Head, Adam Pettitt, said: ‘Highgate remains committed to reducing our carbon footprint and our School bus service is just one of a number of initiatives supporting this. Receiving Transport for London’s Gold STARS accreditation is a huge honour, meaning Highgate is among the top 10% of London schools when it comes to inspiring pupils to transform their travel habits and reduce the number of car journeys made each day.’

Highgate currently operates three School bus routes, from the North Kensington, Baker Street and Old Street areas, with plans to introduce another two in the summer, from Alexandra Palace and Highbury. Each bus is tracked, allowing parents to see its location via their PC or smartphone.          VG

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