Cardiff's School Active Travel Plan Launched
The launch of Cardiff Council’s School Active Travel Plan programme, took place recently at Howardian Primary School in Pen-y-lan.
Through the programme the council provides advice and support to all schools, enabling them develop an Active Travel Plan specific to their school. It provides officer support and online guidance and resources to help change travel behaviour by assisting schools to identify why parents are using cars.
The scheme will help schools to promote walking, cycling and scooting as a way of travelling to and from school, with the benefits of:
- Increased level of physical activity for pupils and parents
- Improved safety on journeys to school with reduced traffic congestion
- Improved air quality
Cardiff Council has been working with Howardian Primary School on developing their Active Travel Plan and the school now implements several projects which include increased scooter and parking, scooter and bike training and a ‘Park and Stride' where parents park away from the school gates.
Helen Hoyle, Headteacher said, "Active transport has been shown to have positive effects all round. The children's physical and mental wellbeing has improved and they have become more confident and aware of road safety issues.
"By developing our own Active Travel Plan we hope that traffic congestion around the school will decrease and the roads will become safer and less polluted for everyone."
Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry said, "The health and well-being of our children is priority and by reducing the number of cars driving to school, not only promotes physical activity amongst pupils and parents, but also helps make schools safer.
"Cardiff's commitment to becoming a Unicef Child Friendly City is shaped by children and young people who are working with us to deliver three priority areas of education; family and belonging; and health.
"Schemes have included car free days where families are able to cycle safely around the city centre and the Street Play scheme which allows communities to apply to close their roads enabling children to play safely, outside in their own street.
"School Active Travel Plans is the latest programme which looks to make significant behavioural changes for the future, helping Cardiff to become a greener city with children's rights at its heart."
Sustrans Cymru has also supported the school in developing schemes which promote walking and cycling to pupils through their Active Journeys programme.
Steve Brooks from Sustrans said, "Congestion outside school gates is damaging and dangerous for children. Poor air quality and road safety concerns are a daily problem during drop off and pick up times. It's clear we must take action to make streets around schools safer.
"Walking, cycling or scooting to school should be the safest, easiest and most accessible option for all school children."
The event also marked the launch of new online resources for schools which including step-by-step guidance and case studies. More information can be found at keepingcardiffmoving.co.uk