GHS go car free

The car. Four wheels and an engine that can deliver you from point A to point B. For our Sixth Form students, it represents independence as the ceremonious change from an ‘L’ to a ‘P’ plate becomes life changing. For others, the accessibility of a car has become something we don’t necessarily think about as much as we should.

In 2020, the average person in England made 855 private transport trips, 67% of these were by car, resulting in vehicle transport accounting for 50% of UK domestic nitrogen oxide emissions (Gov, 2020).  With these staggering statistics at the forefront, Guildford High School formed a Sustainable Travel Group with the aim of raising awareness of, and starting conversations about, our place in the wider transport context. GHS’s efforts in both the Junior and Senior School resulted in gaining a Bronze Modeshift STARS award.

Developing on an already fantastic achievement, GHS have continued to lead the way this academic year, working towards decreasing car travel and raising awareness of the benefits of active and sustainable travel. GHS went car free on Friday 24 September in support of Guildford’s wider community initiative that made the town car free on Sunday 26 September. The initiative is part of Guildford’s £140,000 Welcome Back Fund and the Sustainable Movement Corridor project. While the Welcome Back Fund is in aid of supporting the high street and rebuilding the community after the pandemic; the Sustainable Movement Corridor is a four-phase project aiming to improve the sustainable travel for cyclists, pedestrians, and bus users in the local area.

We were incredibly impressed with how many staff and pupils committed to sustainable ways of travel on Friday, whether that be by public transport or on foot. The personal mission of GHS is to encourage members of our community to continuously reflect on and reconsider their own environmental habits in travel, considering how we can make more good journeys, ones that connect with local areas and are healthy for ourselves and the wider community.