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School travel plans

Leaving the car at home

School travel plans are one of the best ways of promoting walking and cycling with children and young people, since the journey to and from school is part of their daily routine.

We support the idea of encouraging families to leave the car at home whenever possible, finding suitable alternative ways of travelling to and from school. We recognise that some people have to use their car, but do inform people of the health and environmental benefits of walking and cycling to school.

Working with schools

We work with school communities; promoting safer, healthier and more sustainable journeys to and from school.

We discuss two main ways of getting to school with children and their parents/carers - walking and cycling, as well as working with education to provide buses for eligible children and young people.

These discussions take place either under the banner of school travel plans or within a road safety context.  

Your comments and complaints

Information we gather about the state of the roads and footpaths is passed on to our 'Work Outside Schools Team' who can assess any engineering solutions. General comments we receive, by phone, email or letter, are investigated as quickly as possible. Please see the contact details at the bottom of this page.

The school community is quick to tell us if there are problems, and we do what we can to deal with them efficiently. Parents tell us about difficulties - common complaints include;

  • narrow pavements for parents with buggies
  • crossing the road
  • the timing of traffic lights and
  • dog fouling

Working together with our schools is the best way to find solutions. We cannot dictate how people travel but when we know how they would prefer to get to school, we can find ways of providing the right conditions.  

Reducing cars on the road

The 'dreaded school run' is the new cliché. What does it mean for you? Congestion, pollution, being late, more expense, frustration… the list could go on.

In Poole we are designing travel plans with schools to reduce the number of cars on the road around schools, and to increase the number of children walking, cycling and getting the bus.

The message we're giving can be summed up in three words - safe, healthy and sustainable.

Safe

Between 1987 and 2001, there were 396 children killed or injured on the roads in Poole. Each travel plan for schools addresses the issue of safety. This can include what the school says it needs, or could simply forge stronger links with the road safety Education Officer.

When engineering measures are necessary; improved footpaths, double yellow lines, road signs… we make sure they are in place under the Safer Routes to School budget.

If it's a question of giving information to children and parents, the school will play its part.

Healthy

Are we storing up problems for the future? Studies abound showing that children nowadays are less fit than their parents and grandparents. Is this due to diet or lack of exercise?

The Travel Plan aims to link how children get to and from school to a healthier pattern of behaviour - walking or cycling will decrease the risk of heart problems in the future by a very large factor.

Leaner, fitter children are more ready to learn, too.

Sustainable

Traffic in Poole is growing by 3% a year. Peak time congestion causes many difficulties, personally, financially and environmentally. To address this we have developed a School Travel Strategy - sustainable journeys to and from school.

The School Travel Plans aim to reduce the numbers of cars on the 'dreaded school run' from 33% to 28%, increase numbers cycling from 2% to 5%, put 50% more pupils on the bus and get 10% more walking to school.  

School travel plan results

The result of implementing measures through School Travel Plans at the end of the three year programme will be to make Poole an even more beautiful place. Better air, less noise, more cycle lanes, reduced congestion, improved journey times, safer roads for all users will increase the feeling that our town is a good place to live and work.

 
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