Within the Education Act, sustainable modes of travel are defined as those that the local council considers may improve the physical well-being of those who use them, the environmental well-being of all or part of the local authority's area, or a combination of the two.
It is an objective of the Greater Manchester Local Transport Plan to address congestion by encouraging the use of public transport together with walking and cycling. Wigan Council is responsible for delivering the Local Transport Plan within the borough.
The Local Transport Plan recognises the benefits to the environment, as well as to children’s health and well being in encouraging walking and cycling. The Local Transport Plan also seeks to address the issue of the accessibility of education for children and young people.
Who delivers it?
It is the joint responsibility of the Environmental Services and Children and Young People Services Departments to deliver the Strategy. The Strategy will contain an action plan which will detail individuals responsible for each element of work.
Delivery of the Strategy will also require partnership working with transport operators; schools and colleges, and children and young people.
What are we trying to achieve?
A change in attitude towards walking, cycling and using public transport for the journey to and from school or other educational establishments together with providing information to enable real choices to be made regarding mode of travel. In addition, the Council wishes to improve choice for children and young people; in particular those without access to a vehicle.
What can you expect from us?
The Strategy will comprise of four main elements:
- an assessment of the travel and transport needs of children, and young people within the authority’s area;
- an audit of the sustainable travel and transport infrastructure within the authority that may be used when travelling to and from, or between schools and educational establishments;
- a Strategy to develop the sustainable travel and transport infrastructure within the authority so that the travel and transport needs of children and young people are better catered for; and,
- the promotion of sustainable travel and transport modes on the journey to, from, and between schools and other education establishments.
Implementing the strategy
Every school in the borough has received a map detailing travel to school options, so that real choices can be made regarding mode of travel. Information such as the following will be available:
- location of all schools;
- location of school crossing patrols;
- location of pedestrian crossing facilities;
- bus stop locations;
- cycle routes; and
- provision of cycle lockers and other cycling facilities located at the school.
“Lets go to School” interactive mapping tool
The maps are the first step to delivering the sustainable school travel message:
The information available is under continuous development and improvement and, in time, we are hoping to include whether the school has:
- a Travel Plan;
- a 20 mph zone;
- a 'Safer Routes to School' scheme;
- a walking bus scheme; and
- school bus routes and services.
How will we know if we are making a difference?
The Strategy will be reviewed annually and measured against the targets set out in the action plan. Ultimately, we will be successful if more children are travelling to school on foot, on a bike or on public transport. This will be measured through the School Census every year and by using School Travel Plan data.
How can you help?
There are a number of ways you can help improve sustainable travel to school, most importantly by considering how your child gets to school. However, there are a number of other ways you can get involved:
- Ask your schools whether they have developed and are implementing their School Travel Plan.
- If your school already has a Travel Plan, you could set up a Junior Road Safety Team or a School Travel Council, comprising a mixture of children from the school who can take ownership of the Plan and generate their own initiatives to further encourage and promote sustainable travel and work towards achieving the Travel Plan targets.
- You could get involved in a walking or cycling to school scheme - enabling and supervising groups of children to walk/cycle together.
We want to ensure that a new culture of school travel can develop so that together we can make the school journey safer, healthier and more sustainable for all.
Find out more