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5 October 2023

Welsh Schools Encouraged to Craft Travel Plans for Safer and Healthier Journeys

The Welsh Government has issued a call to action for schools throughout Wales, urging them to develop their personalised school travel plans. These plans hold the potential to revolutionise the way students and staff commute to school, emphasizing active modes of transportation. This initiative opens doors for all schools in Wales to address and rectify known issues surrounding their premises, paving the way for improved safety and more vibrant streets around educational institutions.

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.

For more information, please visit the Active Travel School Planning website.

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 our schools and our society.

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