The Safer Routes to School initiative aims to promote safer, more environmentally sustainable and healthier ways of getting to and from school with particular emphasis on walking and cycling. To achieve this, we need to improve conditions (both in safety and the environment) on the main walking and cycling routes to school. Schemes can include physical measure such as safer crossing points and may involve work within the school grounds.
Projects involve the investigation of school travel patterns usually carried out with the commitment to a School Travel Plan. This often identifies engineering and educational measures to improve safety and reduce car use on the route between home and school. These measures can be considered as part of a Safer Routes project and may include:
If you live close enough, encourage your children to walk to school. It will help them keep fit, be alert and become more street-wise:
A Walking Bus is an initiative to encourage more children, accompanied by adults, to walk to school and by doing so reduce traffic and congestion outside schools.
Walking as a group and using an agreed route the children are under the supervision of at least 2 responsible adults - a 'driver' and 'conductor' - who are known to the school. Any volunteers involved with a Walking Bus have to complete a police criminal background check.
Some walking buses operate every school day while others operate one or two days a week - this depends on the number of adult volunteers involved.
The Council's Road Safety staff will risk assess routes and provide necessary training for all volunteers. Children and adults involved in a Walking Bus must wear reflective tabards and we work with many local suppliers and special purchase schemes are available.
Encourage your children to cycle:
If you have to drive:
School Travel Plans
A school travel plan is a document which sets out a number of practical ways to reduce the number of car trips made to a school, to encourage more walking and cycling and to improve safety on the school journey.
The travel plan aims to raise awareness among pupils and parents of the harmful effects of increasing car use on children's health, safety and independence. The travel plan process aims to win "hearts and minds" by raising awareness of the implications of travel choice and the benefits of encouraging more sustainable travel to school. The travel plan can also include proposals for physical improvements and facilities to make the journey feel safer and more pleasant for those on foot or bicycle such as 'Safer Routes to School' and 'School Zones' schemes and cycle parking facilities.
Further examples of travel initiatives include: a walking bus, "park and stride" (parking away from the school at designated sites and walking the remainder), cycle training and permit scheme and a voluntary car lift share scheme.
Why develop a school travel plan?
By developing a travel plan, a school is demonstrating a commitment to promoting a safer, cleaner and more attractive school environment. The travel plan process provides its pupils with excellent curriculum activities in a wide range of subjects. With their health, safety and environmental messages, school travel plans can contribute significantly to other projects such as Health for Schools, Safe Schools and Eco-Schools. The travel plan can provide eligibility for funding from the Council and possibly other sources towards the cost of some proposals.
For further information please contact: