The government is asking schools and local councils in England
to look at ways of encouraging pupils to walk, cycle and use public
transport to get to school instead of being driven there.
An action plan published by the government asks schools and
local authorities to develop a school travel plan in consultation
with parents, pupils and local transport organizations. The plans
should cover safe routes to school, crossings, speed restrictions,
dedicated cycle ways, secure cycle storage and locker space at
school, and improved public transport.
The action plan also proposes road safety skills training for
primary school children, and consultation with transport providers
on how to make sure children can get to and from school safely if
they arrive early or stay late to take advantage of school-based
opportunities outside of the normal school day.
Government wants local authorities to appoint school travel
advisers to help schools, and is will provide a total of £7.5
million a year for at least two years to fund the posts. Using the
Department for Education and Skills’ capital programme it
will also allocate money directly to schools to help them upgrade
their travel facilities.
Announcing the action plan, education secretary Charles Clarke
said, “Twice as many children are driven to school now in
comparison with 20 years ago – around 40% of primary pupils
and 20% of secondary pupils. Most of these journeys are less than 2
“Increased car use also means falling numbers of children
walking or cycling with serious health implications in terms of
lack of daily exercise and a growing proportion of children who are
More information about school transport and the action plan at