Schools are being urged to work with local authorities to develop safe and sustainable travel plans. The call came from government ministers as they announced that a 7.5 million pound annual package of funding to help boost sustainable travel to school is to be extended for another two years.
Transport Minister Rosie Winterton said the money would help councils to continue to co-ordinate individual school initiatives so all areas had an effective and green transport strategy in place. “We want them to cut car use and get young people travelling to school in healthier and more environmentally friendly ways,” she said.
Half the money will come from the Department for Transport and half from the Department from Children, schools and Families. The project encourages the development of travel plans setting out how individual schools will encourage sustainable travel and reduce car use. The funding will support the network of about 250 local authority based school travel advisers, who work with schools on creating and implementing the plans. So far 140,000 schools have a plan in place and Schools Minister Andrew Adonis said the extension of the funding would enable a continued drive to help as many school as possible to beat the traffic in their areas.
The plans are tailored to meet an individual school’s needs and can include measures such as cycle training, walking buses, provision of lockers and parents’ car sharing schemes.