Increased car use and the impact of the 'school run' is a problem everywhere and travel to nurseries, schools and colleges in Thurrock generates a significant number of car journeys contributing to peak time traffic congestion.
There are also increasing concerns around road safety at schools and poor health in young people, both in terms of inactive lifestyles and the effect on air quality and climate change.
In line with Government requirements Thurrock has developed a Sustainable Modes of Travel Strategy that sets out how the authority will assess the travel and transport needs of its pupils and promote sustainable travel to school, for the first time bringing educational issues and travel and transport into one place.
The Strategy document aims to improve educational choice by providing details of the safe and sustainable modes of travel available to parents and pupils.
The Strategy intends to help achieve the Government's aim for every child to get the education they need to enable them to reach their full potential.
By detailing the current educational provision in Thurrock, together with the variety of initiatives that already exist to promote sustainable travel and transport, the Strategy sets out a framework for the future.
Below is a brief summary of some of the initiatives that are taking place in Thurrock schools to promote sustainable travel and transport.
Walking initiatives help to promote and facilitate healthy lifestyles for young people as well as reducing the reliance on the private car for the school run. We have a number of schemes in place to promote walking in schools, including:
Cycling helps improve the health of young people as well as being a sustainable mode of transport.
We have a number of schemes in place to promote and facilitate cycling in schools, and to make cycling safer by training young people. Some of the initiatives around the Borough include:
As well as co-ordinating sustainable travel initiatives we also promote new schemes, share success stories and offer best practice advice through publicity and activity that includes:
Thurrock Council organises transport for around 4,000 entitled pupils. It is our policy to provide this transport in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. Provision includes:
It is recognised that sometimes changes to infrastructure are needed as well as training and promotion initiatives.
For this reason we have a number of highway measures in place to make travelling to school as safe as possible. Some of these measures include:
The Education and Inspections Act 2006 charges local authorities with the responsibility of developing a sustainable approach to travel associated with learning and training. In particular under the Act, authorities have a duty to promote 'sustainable school travel'. That is: travel modes that minimise carbon dioxide emissions while promoting the benefits of exercise, independence and accessibility to improve our children's quality of life.
A key initial step in fulfilling this is the requirement to formulate a Sustainable Mode of Travel Strategy.
The strategy for Thurrock's schools and colleges is available to download below (see how to access PDF files):
A full list of schools and the schemes they run, as well as more information on our work to help safe and sustainable travel to school, can be found within the strategy document above.
For more information on specific initiatives mentioned above or to comment on the strategy, please telephone 01375 366100.