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Our school bus service is Highgate’s flagship sustainable transport initiative. It began operating in 2016 to accommodate the needs of working families, reduce individual car journeys on the school run, and improve local air quality. It has since proven to be a popular way for Highgate pupils to travel to school, given its sustainable and social nature.

30,000 School Bus Journeys!

Elliot Prescott, Highgate’s Transport Logistics Manager, explains: “Since Michaelmas 2016 we’ve tallied 30,000 individual journeys on board our school bus service, which is brilliant news. Passenger numbers have increased by 127% and costs have reduced by 39% during this time. The school bus service also featured in the Tatler Schools Guide 2020, showing that the initiative forms a key part of the school’s ethos and objectives. Highgate is committed to continually improving the service, reducing costs and further increasing passenger numbers.”

An increase in passengers on board has led to improvements in air quality around School. Elliot adds: “In May 2019, our pupils embarked on an air quality monitoring project, capturing the levels of nitrogen dioxide in the local area. The results showed a healthy reduction in pollution levels when compared to the results from the year prior, most notably within the immediate vicinity of the school gates. The number of pupils travelling to Highgate sustainably has played a huge part in enabling everybody to breathe cleaner air.”

Three School Bus Routes Across London

Highgate currently operate three school bus routes, from the North Kensington, Baker Street and Maida Vale areas. We welcome interest from parents living in other areas of the capital, so that we can establish additional routes and further increase the number of pupils travelling to school via environmentally-friendly modes.

If you’d like to enquire about a place on board the Highgate school bus service in Lent 2020, please email transport@highgateschool.org.uk.

Walk and Talk Initiative

We’re actively involved in promoting as many greener alternatives to car travel as possible. Just before half term, our pupil-led Environment Committee hosted a ‘Walk and Talk’ week initiative, primarily aimed at raising awareness about pollution levels outside school.  One of the key objectives of the initiative is to promote the social, health and well-being benefits of walking to school or using public transport versus driving. Many members of the Environment Committee and Eco Council, supported by staff, were visible on key roads around the School during key drop off times to hand out leaflets on alternative travel. They were also ushering vehicles along to discourage idling around high footfall areas.

Alternative Travel Options

Our School wants to encourage parents and pupils to walk, cycle, bus, or even park just a little bit further away, to help reduce car fumes at every opportunity. Queuing in traffic during the school run can pump a considerable amount of harmful gas into the air. Parking just a ten minute walk from the School is a small and easy-to-accommodate change that can make a huge impact on the environment, and our children’s lungs.

Give Your Car the Day Off

Air pollution in London is estimated to cause around 9,000 premature deaths a year and road traffic pollutants are particularly harmful to children, whose lungs are still developing, and regular exposure is associated with increased risks of a variety of respiratory diseases. At Highgate School, over the next week, you’ll see banners placed at key locations that echo our sustainable school travel ethos.

The image of lungs that encase a map of alternative routes into Highgate Village, are there to reiterate the importance of cleaner air and greener travel. By planning your journey to School a little differently, you can make real changes to the quality of our air – and know that you’re helping promote better health for everyone, as well as playing your part in reducing environmental damage.