School Travel Plans
PONTEFRACT D, Oscar Faber and CLAY T, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, UK
The Government's integrated transport White Paper 'A New Deal for Transport: Better for Everyone' published in July 1998 makes it clear that there is no single soIution to all the problems associated with transport and the environment, and much will depen
The Government's integrated transport White Paper 'A New Deal for Transport: Better for Everyone' published in July 1998 makes it clear that there is no single soIution to all the problems associated with transport and the environment, and much will depend on individuals doing their bit. The White Paper specifically notes how significant reductions in car commuting and the 'school run" would help to tackle peak-time congestion.
Following publication of the White Paper, the Government set up the School Travel Advisory Group (STAG). Members of STAG include representatives of parents, teachers, governors, business, road safety, school transport experts and local authorities together with officials from DETR, Doll, DfEE and the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland Offices.
Government have also firmly built school travel into the strategies being developed across Government to improve health, raise standards in schools and increase travel choices, including Health Improvement Programmes and the Healthy Schools Initiative. The new guidance on Local Transport Plans issued in April includes a new requirement for local authorities to develop local strategies on school travel. This paper describes the development of a best practice guide for local authorities to assist them in preparing a school travel strategy and implementing individual school travel plans. The guide is intended primarily for local authority officers in transport, education and planning who need to prepare strategic plans for reduction of private vehicle travel, particularly in relation to journeys to and from school. It should also be a valuable tool for teachers and governors who wish to tackle travel related problems faced by their school.
The guide was prepared for the Department of the Environment Transport and the Regions (DETR) by Oscar Faber, Sustrans and Adrian Davis Associates. Guidance is based on research into current practice in England, Scotland and Wales drawn from 30 individual case studies. Each case study involves initiatives designed to encourage greater travel on foot, by bike and by public transport.
This paper briefly analyses recent trends in school travel, suggests reasons for the changes that have taken place and identifies the consequences for travel, safety, health and social development. The paper moves on to discuss the need for local authorities to address school travel within their broader transport strategies and the contribution school travel plans within individual schools can make to transport strategy objectives. The paper describes both the process of identification of current best practice in the UK and provides examples of the range of initiatives currently being promoted in local authorities and schools.
Association for European Transport