Wigan pupils pitch ideas Dragons' Den-style to promote cycling and walking

Pupils from a Wigan school were invited to present ideas to encourage active travel across the region.

By Sian Jones
Saturday, 11th June 2022, 3:45 pm

Delivered by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and funded by the Department for Transport’s capability fund, the youth travel ambassador (YTA) programme aims to give pupils the skills and confidence to address transport issues affecting their school community.

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Pupils from Hawkley Hall High School devised a "no car day” campaign encouraging their peers to walk or cycle to school.

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Students at Hawkley Hall High School

Those who did would be given a raffle ticket and entered into a prize draw to win a £25 voucher.

As part of the programme, teams of six to 12 pupils were appointed from each participating school from Greater Manchester.

They attended a series of workshops which aimed to increase their knowledge of active travel, the barriers and issues people face in travelling this way and understanding what a behaviour change campaign is.

The pupils gathered data on transport issues and barriers affecting their school and used this to devise and implement their own behaviour change campaigns.

The campaigns were pitched to a panel of judges at a Dragons’ Den-style event.

Each educational institution that took part was given a £500 grant to implement their ideas.

Matt Klinck, headteacher at Hawkley Hall, said: “The programme has been valuable to our school and students involved have benefited greatly from the opportunity to research and collect information about traffic impact in their community.

"The students have gained confidence by presenting their ideas and will be presenting again to our governing body later this month.”

Richard Nickson, programme director for cycling and walking at TfGM, said: “It was great to be a panel member for the programme and hear all of the fantastic pitches.

“The students had excellent ideas on how to make cycling and walking more accessible for their school community and we are delighted that this programme gives the students the opportunity to put their ideas into real action.

“The programme is a great step in the right direction to help make Greater Manchester become a true walking and cycling city-region and help us to achieve our targets of one million more sustainable journeys taken daily by 2040.”