The Welsh Government is calling on schools to produce their own school travel plan which can transform the way everyone travels to school and help promote travelling actively.
All schools in Wales will be able to address known issues outside the school gates, identifying ways in which they can improve safety and make the streets outside schools healthier, happier places for everyone.
Welsh Government has partnered with Sustrans Cymru, who are providing a comprehensive toolkit to support schools in creating an active travel school plan.
An active travel school plan is a brief document outlining a school's actions to promote walking, wheeling, cycling or scooting as the means of getting to school, encouraging active travel by students, parents and school staff.
Schools can also receive specialist guidance from Active Travel School Planning Officers in writing their plans and linking up with their local authority to improve safety on nearby streets.
Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Climate Change, encourages all schools to get involved, stating: “This is a great opportunity for schools who want to create happier, healthier places for their school community.
“Any school that gets involved will gain access to a wide range of resources, from workshops and activities to surveys and much more, helping them build a positive case for change in their school community.”
Why should schools get involved?
- Enhance Safety: Address road safety concerns during drop-off and pick-up.
- Healthy, Confident Individuals: Promote physical activity, independence and well-being, while combating child obesity in Wales.
- Improve Classroom Focus: Enhance student attention and engagement via the recommended 60-minute daily exercise routine.
- Access Funding: Welsh Government funding for improvements to the infrastructure outside schools can be accessed through the Safe Routes in Communities Grant and the Active Travel Fund. Starting 2024/2025, local authorities can only apply for schemes where schools have or commit to prepare active travel school plans.
- Access wider Active Travel support: Participate in activities, workshops and sessions built around Active Travel, delivered in your school through Sustrans Active Travel officers or other organisations, such as Living Streets.
This initiative represents a significant step by Welsh Government towards achieving the Welsh Sustainable Agenda (Wellbeing of Future Generations Act 2015, Planning Policy Wales) and UN Agenda 2030 (SDGs)by bringing together Education, Transport and Planning.
Schools are encouraged to seize this opportunity to make a lasting impact on the safety, well-being, and sustainability of their school communities and to contribute to a healthier future for schools and society.