IT'S been the best year yet for sustainable travel on the Island, with Visit Isle of Wight celebrating a year of success in promoting a greener way to get around.

The Green Star scheme originally launched in 2016 with the aim of encouraging businesses to look at how they promote sustainable travel on the Isle of Wight to their visitors, either through the use of buses, walking, cycling. or promoting the introduction of electric car charging points on their premises.

Since the relaunch of the Green Star scheme in January 2019, more than 100 businesses have recognised the benefits of promoting sustainable travel.

Nicola Rogers, sustainable travel project manager at Visit Isle of Wight, said: "It's been a great year. 2019 saw the relaunch of the new Green Star scheme with its new structure of bronze, silver and gold.

"We've had more than 100 businesses across the Island sign up to the scheme. The vast majority of those are either gold or silver status, so that just shows people are finding it very valuable, and it's an important factor for them to make sure they are continuing to be eco-friendly and promote sustainable transport."

Farringford Estate, Freshwater, recently achieved gold status.

Sophie Adkins, marketing manager, said: "When we were approached about the Green Star award, we had actually achieved nearly all the criteria or were working towards it.

"You’ll be surprised at how much you’re doing already."

The Visit Isle of Wight key card scheme runs in conjunction with Green Star accommodation providers and local bus company, Southern Vectis — encouraging visitors to choose public transport instead of using a car — cutting carbon emissions on the Island.

Constant promotion of the key card scheme over the spring and summer months saw the team pick up an award in the UK Bus Awards in November.

"We recently won a silver award, and we were really pleased because we were up against some really tough competition," said Nicola.

"It was unexpected, but we’re absolutely delighted we did so well in the national competition.

"The idea behind the Green Star scheme is it's easy to sign up and easy to maintain the criteria we've set out.

"All people need to do is get in touch with us at Visit Isle of Wight and we can talk through the details."