When schools return next week there are concerns that the extra demands on both the highway network and public transport across the country could cause significant issues, in terms of congestion and lack of capacity.
To mitigate this the DfT are encouraging parents and pupils to walk, cycle or scoot to school where possible or to park and stride.
They are also encouraging the public to think about how they can reduce their need to travel at these times; avoiding travelling at peak times, making journeys on foot or to cycle, or continuing to work from home where possible. This will hopefully reduce the demand on the network and free up space for the return to school.
To support this the DfT with the Department for Education have developed messaging for schools and local authorities to use. The messages set out how pupils should travel to school and how to travel safely on public transport and can be accessed here;
In Northumberland we are working with our public transport providers to identify those bus services that may struggle to accommodate scholars due to social distancing restrictions, and where possible we will be providing larger or additional vehicles to ensure that scholars and passengers can undertake there journeys to and from educational establishments in a safe and legally compliant manner.
We are also working to encourage more walking and cycling through behaviour change programmes across the county and to support this work we would like schools to share these messages on their social media and parent mail platforms, where appropiate to encourage safe travel next week, encouraging walking, cycling and scooting where possible, which will hopefully reduce the number of cars and help with social distancing at your schools.
Any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Project Officer Transport