School Travel Plans
The School Travel Plan Team works with schools across the city to encourage parents and children to consider healthy and sustainable forms of transport when travelling to and from school. The majority of Birmingham schools have produced travel plans which are written documents setting out practical measures and initiatives for reducing the number of car trips made to school and for improving safety on the journey. The action plan is at their core, setting out what will be achieved, including targets with dates and people assigned to each action. Some examples of the associated activities and events in which schools participate include:
- ‘Walk to School’ activities
- Providing journey information through the School TravelWise website
- Establishing park and stride sites - where parents park away from the school gate and walk the rest of the way
- Cycle and pedestrian training
- Road safety education and resources
- Improving public transport information and facilities
- Setting up walking buses - parent / school supported project for trained parents to escort groups of children to and from school.
It is important to work with and involve the whole community when developing travel plans. Many different partners provide a wide range of services to schools, many of which can support the preparation and implementation of school travel plans. Organisations like Travel West Midlands, Centro and the Primary Care Trusts work with the School Travel Plan Team.
Many of the schools are in the process of reviewing their plans to ensure that they are up to date. Information is available to help you update your school travel action plan on an annual basis. The checklist attached sets out some activities your school ....
Why are School Travel Plans important?
The school run significantly contributes to congestion and has a major impact on the environment. Although school journeys make up a small fraction of total transport demand, traffic flows often coincide with peak traffic flows to increase congestion. In the UK they account for 1.2 million cars driving extra distances to include the school journey and around one million extra cars on road during peak time. This leads to emission of approximately one million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.
Walking and cycling to school can help improve children and young people’s movement skills, social wellbeing, self confidence and independence. Alongside increasing physical activity, it also helps young people explore and become more familiar with their local environment.
The main benefits to local schools in having an active School Travel Plan include:
- Improved fitness of children by increasing walking and
- Reduced traffic congestion and pollution near and around the school
- Consideration for engineering measures to improve highway safety in the area around the school
- Improved road safety education and awareness for children through pedestrian and cycle training
- Increased parent and child interaction
- Draws attention to local issues and builds links between schools, parents, the wider community and Birmingham City Council
- Creates partnerships with transport operators like Travel West Midlands and Centro
- Gives schools the opportunity to gain grant funding for measures to support the travel plan.
Tel: 0121 303 7863