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School Travel

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Bikeability Training

Who?

Devon County Council has trained 97,000 children between the launch of Bikeability in 2006/7 and 30th September 2022. Their Bikeability provider is Plymouth SSP, who offer courses to a range of ages to boost skills and confidence for cycling in modern road conditions.

A woman stands with an electric bike, smiling

Resources:

Learning to cycle is a valuable skill, providing young people with a climate-friendly form of transport while also being a fun way to stay healthy.

View more about accessing Bikeability Training in your area below.

Bikespace in Plymouth

Bikespace is a Plymouth social enterprise that offers bike maintenance courses, refurbed bikes and other support to help families and individuals with their cycling journeys.

Support with a School Travel Plan

What?

A School Travel Plan (STP) sets out how a school will promote safe, active and sustainable travel to and from school.

An STP can help to reduce the number of children being driven to and from school and promote methods of travel like walking or cycling, which will minimise traffic congestion and emissions in addition to improving air quality in the area.

A mother teaching her child to cycle

Resources:

STPs in Devon

For a template STP document or to submit your completed STP email rshelp@devon.gov.uk.

STPs in Plymouth

Schools in Plymouth can contact the Travel Plan Team and Schools Engagement Officers for support on writing an STP. The Highways Safety Team can also provide advice on the schools’ local area.

Modeshift STARS

UK schools can produce a travel plan using an online interactive tool called Modeshift STARS (Sustainable Travel Accreditation and Recognition for Schools).

The STARS scheme enables schools to gain national accreditation at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels and recognises schools’ excellence and dedication to the promotion of walking, cycling and other forms of sustainable travel for the school journey.

Government Guidance

The Government has home-to-school travel and transport statutory guidance available on their website, including information on promoting sustainable travel.

Sustrans

Sustrans is a charity advocating for sustainable travel. They are custodians of the National Cycle Network and have a variety of projects and resources available to get more people opting for active travel, as well as information about walking or wheeling the school run.

Independent Travel Training

Independent travel training is a free scheme which has been set up by Devon County Council working with the Transport Co-ordination Service.

Young people in Devon can be trained to develop the skills needed for independent travel, including road safety, telling the time, how to use a bus pass, appropriate social behaviour and strategies for solving problems.

Besides increasing confidence and independence, the training also opens up the potential for young people to try out new sustainable methods of transport.

Apply for a School Street

What?

A School Street is a road that temporarily restricts motorised traffic, twice a day, every day at set school travel times during term time.

This is achieved by placing bollards into ‘sockets’ across the road at an agreed point to restrict traffic. A School Street can provide extra incentives for parents and children to opt for walking or cycling to and from school over driving.

A mother and child cross the street

Resources:

Apply for a School Street with Devon County Council

You can apply for a School Street via the Devon County Council website.

How to Apply:
  • Provide a current School Travel Plan first
  • Recruit volunteers who are committed to staff the closure points
  • Have the support of your local Devon County Councillor.
  • Schools that are in a position to commit to a School Street or need more information, please email rshelp@devon.gov.uk
Things to Consider:
  • School Streets will not work for every school. Closing a road that is on a bus route, heavily trafficked or would cause other traffic issues may not be possible
  • It can take several months to get the School Street operational – e.g. the Traffic Regulation Order process and other work that is required

School Streets Initiative

The School Streets Initiative website provides accessible information and guidance for local communities who want to see School Street schemes implemented.

Set up a Walking Bus

What?

A Walking Bus is a system in which groups of children can walk to and from school together on a set route with trained adult volunteers. It provides a safe alternative method of travel to driving.

Volunteers can include parents and teaching staff. They ensure children are safe on the way and can also teach road safety skills to build confidence.

Teacher walking with children

Resources:

Devon County Council provides support for parents and schools who wish to set up walking buses. This includes advice on routes, training, and insurance for Devon County Council maintained schools.

Set up a Park and Stride

What?

Living Streets, a UK charity for everyday walking, has proposed ‘Park and Stride’ schemes as a way for families who live further away to still enjoy the benefits of walking to school.

Families who drive are encouraged to park a ten minute walk from the school and walk the rest of the way, and children who take the bus can get off a few stops earlier and do the same.

This simple idea reduces the use of vehicles and minimises traffic congestion around the school.

Living Streets logo

Resources:

Living Streets has produced a guide to set up a Park and Stride Scheme in your area, including tips about choosing routes, getting permission and how to spread the word.

Take part in Walk to School Week and the Walk to School Challenge

What?

Walk to School Week

Walk to School Week is an annual event encouraging students to make as many active journeys as possible through the week.

Pupils can track their progress and have fun with free resources to inspire and educate about sustainable travel.

Walk to School Challenge

The Walk to School Challenge runs throughout the school year and encourages children self-report how they get to school every day using the interactive WOW Travel Tracker. If they travel sustainably (walk/wheel, cycle or scoot) once a week for a month, they get rewarded with a badge.

WOW schools see a 30% reduction in car journeys taken to the school gate and a 23% increase in walking rates.

Walk through time, WOW, the walk to school challenge 2022/2023

Resources:

Five-Day Walking Challenge Classroom Packs

Classroom packs are available to buy for classes taking part in the five-day walking challenge. Packs contain resources for up to 30 pupils and are available in KS1/P1-3 and KS2/P4-7 variants, featuring differing, age-appropriate activities.

Each classroom pack contains:

  • Teacher guidance
  • One double-sided classroom wallchart / pledge poster
  • Daily stickers for pupils and wallchart
  • 30 pupil activity diaries
  • 30 end of week pupil rewards

WOW Resources

To get started on the walk to school challenge, you can buy a kit complete with badges and the WOW travel tracker for pupils to start tracking their active travel and earning rewards.

If you’re unsure how many to buy, the built-in calculator will estimate how many badges you’ll need based on the number of pupils enrolled at your school and the average percentage of pupils that walk to school.

WOW Funding Eligibility

Your school may be eligible to receive WOW resources 100% free of charge. You can fill in a short form to find out whether your school is in an area with funded WOW places, on a first come first served basis.

WOW Launch

There’s a host of resources available to help you launch a WOW challenge at your school successfully. You can access:

  • Travel Tracker video tutorials and videos to show students
  • FAQs
  • Launch materials including teacher/parent/carer letters, a classroom guide and a guide to WOW and sustainability
  • Leaderboard certificates
  • Information about WOW ambassadors and the WOW Walk of Fame
  • Free lesson plans and activities

Take part in the Big Walk and Wheel

What?

The Sustrans Big Walk and Wheel is the UK’s largest inter-school walking, wheeling, scooting and cycling challenge.

The challenge is open to individual classes and schools. Every day schools compete to see who can record the most students, faculty, and parents cycling, walking, using a wheelchair, or scooting to school.

Everyone who participates can learn more about active travel and be up for the chance to win daily prizes, including school travel equipment and accessories.

In 2022, 2,244,401 active travel journeys took place across the 2,440 schools who registered, with 795,501 pupils taking part in total.

Sustrans Big Walk And Wheel

Resources:

Website

The Big Walk and Wheel website has all the information schools need to participate, as well as results from the 2022 challenge.

Resources

Resources are available to support schools with the challenge, such as:

  • Information flyers
  • Ways to take part in the challenge
  • A four-week guide to increasing active travel to school
  • Top tips
  • How to make sure the challenge is includive
  • How to overcome barriers to cycling and scooting to school

Public Transport to School

What?

Resources are available to make public transport to and from school cheaper and easier to access.

Double decker bus

Resources:

Assistance with School Transport

Your child may be eligible for support with school transport, such as help with the cost of bus passes. Find out if you can access support in your area below.

Bus Tickets and Fares in Plymouth

Plymouth School Tickets are available for those aged 18 and under. Tickets are valid for All Plymouth School bus services plus unlimited travel on all other Plymouth Citybus services within the Zones purchased.

Plymotion

What?

Plymotion is a scheme that aims to make it easier to get around Plymouth by bike, on foot and by bus. It offers incentives to try greener, cheaper and healthier ways of getting from A to B.

Plymotion at your school - is your school making use of the fantastic engagement programmes we have to offer?

Resources:

Plymotion offer tailored support for travel in schools. Their website offers:

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