School Travel Plan Support
TravelWise is a national awareness campaign which looks at reducing unnecessary and single occupancy car use through promoting sustainable travel options. It aims to encourage pupils, parents and staff to consider the way in which they travel to school by looking at alternatives, including public transport, walking and cycling.
Travelling to and from school is an integral part of the school day for students. If the journey is a pleasant one then they are happier and better equipped to face the school day, making the school a pleasant and constructive environment for everyone.
Centro's Sustainable Travel Team helps schools to look at the public transport aspects of their travel plans and assists with developing initiatives to increase the number of students and staff using public transport. We also work closely alongside school travel advisers within the seven local authorities of the West Midlands to help bring sustainable travel into West Midlands schools.
What is a school travel plan?
The school produces a school travel plan. It encompasses all the issues relevant to journeys to and from the school and includes concerns about safety, health and also proposals for ways to make improvements. School travel plans have attracted government support as they are seen as a way to help reduce the number of unnecessary car journeys.
Essentially the plan is a statement of issues which need to be addressed and a strategy for overcoming or reducing them through a number of initiatives, which will make journeys to and from school safer and healthier. School travel plans include consultation with pupils, parents, local residents, councillors, health promoting officers and public transport operators.
How can having a school travel plan help you?
- It looks at the way pupils and staff travel to school and aims to improve the journey experience for everyone.
- It aims to reduce car use on the journey to school.
- It encourages people to walk, cycle, car share or use public transport.
- Examples include park and stride schemes, walking buses, safer routes to school and staggering start times.
- Use of soft marketing and promotional measures can help to improve safety and reduce car use and congestion around your school.
Other benefits of a school travel plan
- Reduced noise, air pollution and congestion on roads around the school.
- A safer environment outside the school gates.
- Students arrive at school on time, more alert and keen to learn.
- It promotes a healthier lifestyle.
- Students improve their road safety skills and learn to travel independently.
Public Transport aspects of the Travel Plan
The school travel plan encompasses public transport and there are many measures you can put in place to promote it and ensure that children behave in an acceptable manner when travelling by bus, train or Metro tram.
- Introduce a code of conduct for public transport
- Independent travel training
- Public transport information provision
How to manage unacceptable behaviour
- A code of conduct is a good way to promote good pupil behaviour on the school journey.
- If supervising pupils boarding buses, action may be necessary to stop unacceptable behaviour.
- If drivers or students inform you of any incidents of poor behaviour or bullying on a public transport journey to and from school, please action appropriately.
- Look into running a bus monitor scheme.
Bus driver responsibilities
- If unacceptable behaviour occurs on board buses, and in the drivers opinion is likely to endanger the safety of the vehicle or other passengers, the driver has the right to refuse travel.
How can Centro help?
- Bespoke public transport information for services that serve the school.
- Adjustments to Centro subsidised bus services.
- Liaise with operators on behalf of the school with any issues you may have.
- Assist with bus behaviour issues.
- Help with any other public transport issues / enquiries.
- Provide educational workshops on how to use public transport.
- Point you in the right direction for support on initiatives such as walking buses, cycle training and Park and Stride schemes
- Attend new intake evenings to discuss travel options to school with parents.
For further information on any of the above please email email@example.com or call 0121 214 7409.
Funding for School Travel Plans
In 2004 the Government released funds to all local authorities to help with the development of school travel plans, to help achieve the target of 100% of schools with a school travel plan by 2010 /11. Most local authorities have used the funding to employ a dedicated school travel adviser and provide schools with the funds to improve infrastructure (such as cycle parking) at their sites.
Capital Grant funding
Capital grants are available for those schools who meet a minimum criterion. The school travel plan capital grant is in addition to schools allocation of devolved formula capital and must therefore be spent on capital items e.g. cycle parking, lockers etc. Schools have 3 years to spend the grant, timed from the start of the financial year in which the grant was allocated. It is for the school to determine how to spend their devolved formula capital. The additional allocation is in recognition that a school's travel plan may have identified additional capital expenditure on the school site and the main aim of this additional money is to enable and encourage more sustainable travel to school.