Page 5: Objectives
Sandringham Secondary School (mixed, 1000 pupils) and Wheatfields Junior (mixed, 360 pupils) in St Albans have adjacent sites on a bus route. The objectives of the plan are to reduce child casualties, to reduce car journeys to school, and to increase walking, cycling and bus use. Questionnaires were sent to pupils and parents, a school working group was set up, and a pupil competition was run to design posters for an exhibition for local residents and others. Further consultation was carried out by means of questionnaires distributed at the exhibition. With the active support of the local authority, measures include:
- cycle training, cycle routes, cycle parking (with target to triple cycle use at Sandringham)
- improved frequency and timing of existing bus services, and one new bus service, based on demand identified from analysis of home addresses and school timetable
- two new crossings and other improvements to walking routes
- a ‘walking bus’ (escorted walk to school) for younger pupils
- a car sharing database, giving details of potential sharers.
George Abbot School, Guildford
This is a mixed secondary school in Guildford with some 1800 pupils and good public transport links. The plan was prepared by the GNVQ Business Studies group, which produced a written report, followed by exhibitions and a computer presentation. The plan aims ‘to set out ways to make it easier to walk, cycle and use the bus to the school so that more people do it’- recognising that the group could not do everything itself but could make soundly based proposals to people in a position to take action.
The group treated the plan as a product which needed to be researched, marketed and ‘bought’ by the school community, the local authority, and local transport operators. Six key stages in the development of the plan were identified - market research, specifying the product, supplying the product, promoting the product, further market research, and improving the product.
A survey of pupils included questions on how journeys to school were made, reasons for not walking, cycling, or using the bus, what would encourage a switch, and whether pupils had ever been in a road accident or near-miss on the way to school. This was supported by data from the School Information Management System (SIMS) on postcodes and travel to school, which was plotted on a map using a geographic information system. Residents were also surveyed to find out their views on local danger points and proposals to improve safety at specific locations, such as bus bays, cycle routes, speed bumps and wider pavements. Traffic counts of cars, pedestrians and cyclists, and observations at problem areas were also carried out.
Based on analysis of data from all sources, the group concluded that about 38% of pupils walked, 3% cycled, 26% came by bus, and 33% travelled by car. Of those travelling by car, 40% were interested in walking, 60% in cycling and 50% in bus travel. These results were used to propose the following as realistic targets:
- for four out of every ten pupils who currently come by car to come by other means of transport
- to make sure that the conditions for people who already walk, use the bus or cycle are good so that they do not switch to travelling by car.
Measures proposed in the final plan include cycle lanes, pedestrian crossings, and a bus bay (for action by the local authority), cycle parking (for action by the school) and a discount travelcard and improved capacity on certain bus routes (for action by bus companies).