£928 million spent on school transport every year

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£928 million spent on school transport every year

Posted 23 March 2009 21:47 by martin

Maybe not the most exciting-looking report to ever come off the printing presses.

But if you look at today's press notice, and take a shufti at the report itself, there are some quite arresting details, e.g:
  • Car use on the journey to and from school has doubled in the past 20 years
  • Public sector funding on school transport in England in 2008-2009 is budgeted at £938 million
The committee calls for:
  • The Government to make a clear commitment to promoting walking and cycling as the preferred transport options where this is practicable.
  • The percentage of funding allocated to initiatives to support walking and cycling to be increased.
And the committee's chair rightly points out that “the journeys people make when young will influence their preferences and habits in adulthood”.

But while the report is good at willing the ends, it's got much less to say on the means.

One thing we'd like to do is work on a pilot with a school to 'batch process' all the kids' home postcodes so that we could produce dedicated walking route maps to school for each pupil.  They could be handed out in class and emailed to parents, including all sorts of related info about the cost, health, congestion, time and environmental benefits.  We could even involve the kids (and parents) in helping identify missing cut-throughs or routes that avoid dangerous junctions.

OK, it might not transform behaviours overnight, but we reckon it would be a pretty cost-effective way of spending part of that £938 million.

Drop us a line if you think your school might be interested in such a pilot.

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