Bedford Borough Council aims to work with all schools to develop school travel plans which promote sustainable travel and improve levels of safety, health and fitness through reducing traffic and congestion. Central to the promotion of sustainable travel is raising awareness of the alternatives to travel by car through encouraging walking, cycling or taking public transport.
In addition people need to be provided with the skills to travel independently (where appropriate), confidently and safely.
A school travel plan that meets the national standard sets out a number of practical steps to help achieve this. It looks in detail at children's needs on the school journey and attempts to address them by finding the right solution for each individual school. A school travel plan also has clearly stated aims, objectives and targets that are achievable, measurable and are supported by the whole school, children, parents and the wider community.
It is a living document that becomes embedded into school life and policy.
Why school travel plans?
Over the past 20 years there have been big changes in the way that children travel to school. Car use has doubled, bus and train patronage have remained steady and the proportion of pupils walking or cycling has decreased sharply. Driving to school causes congestion especially in urban areas in term time nearly one in five cars at 8.50am is on the school run.