A mobile classroom for all ages, an office on the go, and a pedal-powered community carriage were among the ideas for trains in the future presented at the Houses of Parliament by Nottingham schoolchildren this week.

Ten members of Nottingham Primary Parliament presented their designs to the Transport Select Committee on Monday (22 July), as part of the ‘Trains Fit For The Future’ inquiry.

More than 100 year five and six pupils from local primary schools worked on the ideas, as part of the Primary Parliament programme run by Nottingham City Council.

Students spent two days working with experts to create a series of design ideas for the interior of trains of the future, based on factors such as supporting economic growth, reducing climate change and helping people connect with each other.

The mobile classroom design gives passengers the chance to learn as they travel, while a fully-equipped office could be used by companies to have big meetings and conferences on the move – reducing the need for air travel.

Meanwhile an environmentally-friendly pedal and solar-powered rickshaw-style train could complement local bus and tram services to get commuters around the city.

Students made models of their designs at Primary Parliament and presented them to local councillors. Now the ideas have gone before Lilian Greenwood MP, chair of the Transport Select Committee, and her colleagues in a special session at the Houses of Parliament.

Schools taking part were:

  • Djanogly Northgate
  • Dovecote
  • Hadyn
  • Middleton
  • Rufford
  • Snape Wood
  • Sneinton CofE
  • Victoria

Councillor Cheryl Barnard, Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People at Nottingham City Council, said: “This is an exciting project that shows our children are helping shape the development of transport, not just in the city but across the country too. The ideas they have for improving train travel in the future are imaginative and very well thought through.

“It’s also a great example of the work of the Primary Parliament, which provides a platform for our year five and six students to come together and influence decision-making within the Council and beyond. To have ten primary children presenting their work on a national stage is a great achievement.”

Primary Parliament is held six times a year at the Council House and attracts primary schools from across the city, with more than 300 children taking part each year. It aims to empower the next generation to have their say, and enables the Council and its partners to engage with children’s views, experiences and ideas for change.