Gumley currently has an approved Travel Plan.
What is a School Travel Plan?
A School Travel Plan is a written document which outlines a series of practical steps for improving children’s safety on the journey to and from school.
The plan should result in benefits for pupils, parents and the wider community: it will assist pupils and parents in identifying healthy and sustainable transport options and help to reduce the numbers of cars on the road at peak times. In addition it will contribute to the improvement of the environment around the school.
Children who walk regularly are less at risk from heart disease, stroke, diabetes and osteoporosis when they are older. Yet 4 out of 10 boys and 6 out of 10 girls are active for less than an hour per day.
The decline in walking to school has coincided with a rise in childhood obesity, with the proportion of overweight children increasing by 7 per cent between 1996 and 2001.
Making moderate exercise an integral part of a child's day, through a walk to and from school, is an excellent way to guard against excess weight and improve general health.
Walking is already popular with the majority of pupils who live close to their schools, but should be encouraged in others as a key means of improving health and easing congestion.
Local transport and education authorities need to work together with schools to develop strategies that combine 'hard' and 'soft' measures. These can go some way to convincing pupils and parents that walking can be fun and safe.
Hard measures include engineering works on and off the highway such as traffic calming and the creation of safer routes. Soft measures include crossing patrols, walking buses and on- and off-road training to improve road skills and confidence.
Gumley encourages students to walk when they can but understands that this may be difficult as many students live far from the school.
Only 1 per cent of pupils overall (and 2 per cent of secondary children) cycle to school.
One of the key reasons behind this is concern over road safety, but evidence shows that the health benefits of cycling far outweigh the risks.
For cycling to become more attractive, local transport and education authorities must work together with schools to develop strategies that combine 'hard' and 'soft' measures.
Hard measures include engineering works on and off the highway such as traffic calming and the creation of safer routes, as well as school infrastructure such as secure cycle parking, lockers, showers and changing facilities.
Gumley has recently erected four new cycle sheds with lockers for helmets on the premises. This was funded by Transport for London.
Soft measures include crossing patrols, cycle trains and on- and off-road training to improve road skills and confidence, and classroom activities.
At the moment, travel to school by bus can be provided in a number of ways - through statutory school transport, the commercial bus network, or dedicated school buses. The challenge is for schools, local transport and education authorities, and bus operators of different kinds to work together to increase the availability and attractiveness of bus services to a wider range of pupils.
(Excerpt from schooltravelplan.org the Essential Guide.)
More local information is available on: www.hounslowstp.org/Parents.html
Link to cycle information for London: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/cycling/11607.aspx
iPhone Application link: http://hounslowtp.org/iphonea