The School Travel plan process
Step one – Build a team
- Get a team together that is representative of your school community (teachers, parents local residents).
- Identify a key influential person to champion the travel plan (senior teacher).
- Seek commitment from your Board of Trustees.
- Identify a key person to coordinate the process.
- Active travel is an action that can be supported via the Enviroschools programme
Step two – Identify the Current Situation
For your travel plan to be successful you need to understand what is currently happening, what your school community think about how they currently travel to school and ask them what would help them to actively travel to and from this school. The Let’s Go team can assist you with surveys, travel reports, site assessments and other activities that will support your understanding of the current situation at your school.
Step three – Explore alternatives and set priorities for change
Once you have the data from your survey and feedback from your community you can develop some key objectives, identify actions that can be taken and pull together a plan. Take some time to explore what others have done and become familiar with the many actions you can take. This will support you to write down your aims, objectives, targets, planned actions and possible budget requirements. For some schools you will need a written plan for Board of Trustees sign off.
Step four – Implementation, take action
This is the true action stage where you bring the plan to fruition. Ensure that you communicate with all members of your school community what you are doing and why.
Step five – Evolution reflect on change
Now that the travel plan is in action you need to do regular evaluations to monitor what is happening, what has worked well and perhaps not so well. How is travel changing (organise quarterly spot counts), what savings are being made, has traffic congestion improved, are your students more active and engaged?
What else can you do to keep the momentum going?
Communicating and engaging your school community
Messages for your school travel plan
We are making a commitment to reduce the number of car journeys that come to and from our school every day. We are looking at ways that we currently travel to and from our school and looking at how we can encourage each other to use more active forms of transport such as walking, cycling and bussing.
- Petrol is now over $2 per litre so there are immediate cost savings if you leave the car behind.
- Opportunity to build exercise into your busy day, encouraging healthy activity.
- To reduce our environmental footprint and to encourage you to look at your family’s.
- To improve the safety concerns at our school gate by removing congestion. Support our children to gain knowledge skills and experience with active travel that will support them to safely transition to independent active travel in the future.
Introduction for your school travel survey
We want your involvement! In order to assess the current travel patterns within the school and then measure any changes in the future, we have developed a roll call type survey. The results will then be collated and a report produced for your use.
Incentive ideas for your school travel plan
- Competitions for those who travel using active transport to your school the most number of times within a month.
- Development and investment into infrastructure such as bicycle and scooter storage facilities.
- Colourful roadside artwork that reminds drivers that they are now in a school zone.
- Walking and Wheeling Wednesdays (start with one day a week)!
- Umbrellas and wet weather gear made available for students.
- Dedicated car parks outside the school for those that ride share.
- Walking and wheeling breakfasts.
- One week vouchers for the bus/discounted tickets for the bus.
- Funky merchandise for those that walk/cycle/bus.
Potential barriers to your travel plan
I would let my child cycle/walk to school except I don’t feel safe letting them on the roads
Develop safe walking and cycling maps showing routes to and from your school which keep children off the main roads as much as possible, highlighting good and bad crossing points.
Hold cycle skills training sessions so that students have increased confidence and know how on the roads.
I don’t trust the weather
Provide a regular weather report to students and parents and information about good wet weather gear.
I would let my child cycle but I need somewhere for them to store their bikes
Develop a cool, covered funky bike and scooter park with ample space for children to get in drop off their bikes, helmets and secure them if needed.
I live too far out from town so cycling and walking won’t work
Is there a possibility to drive to a certain point and then cycle/walk? Ride sharing is another great option.
The bus schedule doesn’t support my schedule
Talk with the Let’s Go team and we can look at times and demand and discuss it with the bus company.
I’m too lazy
You won’t get everyone on board, but perhaps once they see that many other children are travelling using different means and the camaraderie around this they may give it a try.
We have bikes and think about it but just don’t have time
Fantastic, this person is almost there it’s just a matter of convincing them to trial it once a week or once a month to start.
I like the flexibility of having my car
For many people the idea of leaving their car’s at home is quite challenging. What you can do is encourage them to trial it one day a week for a month, and see how that goes with encouragement and incentives for them to increase it by a day when they are ready. Even if they park five minutes away and ride or walk with their children the remaining distance.
I am a teacher and I have too many resources/marking to bring to and from school
Suggest pannier bags for their bikes try and support your teacher’s workload with paper free Fridays for example.
The many benefits of a school travel plan
Cost savings for individuals and the school community
The price of fuel has risen dramatically; by reducing people’s dependence on using their vehicles significant savings can be made. And if your school pays for car parks then these can also be reviewed with the potential for further cost saving.
Reduced congestion and parking concerns near your school
By reducing congestion and alleviating parking pressure near your school you can create a safer environment around the school’s entrances.
A greater sense of community within neighbouring organisations and local residents
Relationships with local communities and neighbouring organisations can be improved by easing traffic pressure and by using shared pathways. Showing a commitment to improving the global and local environment, and backing this up with real actions, can help build a great sense of community amongst neighbours and your school community.
What Nelson City Council will provide
- Support in the development and implementation of your travel plan.
- Provision of a survey that asks your students how they currently travel and what would encourage them to consider more sustainable travel options.
- Assistance with developing safe routes to and from school.
- Potential financial support with infrastructure and incentive schemes.
- Improved public infrastructure for safer/easier walking, cycling and bussing.
- Free cyclist skills training programmes.
- Networking opportunities with other community groups and sporting clubs that are implementing similar plans.
- Possible joint promotion opportunities.