New round of funding opens to tackle safety on the school run

family cycling to school
22 May 2018

A new round of funding, aimed at delivering more safe routes to schools across Scotland has been launched by Sustrans Scotland.  

Funded by the Scottish Government and delivered by Sustrans Scotland, the Safer Routes to School fund, aims to transform the school run into a safe, attractive and healthy option for pupils and parents who want to travel actively.
 
Schools and local authorities across Scotland are being urged to apply for funding to help create safe, traffic-free routes which encourage children and their parents or guardians to travel to school on foot, by bike or scooter. 
 
Projects aimed at tackling dangerous driving practices around school, creating priority crossings or increasing safety at school entrances through child-friendly placemaking are also encouraged to apply. 
 
While Safer Routes to School is aimed at schools across the country, Sustrans also wish to highlight funding available to promote safer routes to all places of education.  In the coming months, Sustrans plans to target further education colleges and universities, through its Community Links programme  to promote funding available to make the physical journey by active travel a realistic option for students across the country.
  
Sustrans Scotland Head of Project Delivery, Infrastructure, Matthew Macdonald said: “The journey to and from school is made by thousands of children across Scotland each day, however we know that for many, worries over safety prevents them from travelling actively.  
 
“The Safer Routes to School programme prioritises ambitious and innovative projects that create better places for children and their carers to walk, scooter, cycle and spend time in. 
 
“Ensuring that families can travel safely to school by foot, bike or scooter is a vital step to helping improve their health and wellbeing and encourage healthy travel habits in children which can last a lifetime.”
 
Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf MSP said: “Further improving road safety and encouraging active travel are priorities for the Scottish Government, and we are fully committed to working with local authorities and schools to prevent our children and young people from being exposed to risk on our roads.
 
“The doubling of the active travel budget for 2018/2019 has created an opportunity to realise our ambition to build an Active Nation. Schools and all places of education can now benefit alongside local authorities by creating friendlier and safer active travel routes across Scotland.
 
”The Safer Routes to School fund will help address people’s fears around safety and help to encourage more people to travel by foot and by bike every day.”   
 
Research by Sustrans Scotland earlier this year found that the main barrier for parents and carers encouraging children to travel more actively to school was fears over their physical safety. 
 
The School Travel Survey for Parents, which was run in partnership with the Scottish Parent Teacher Council, found that 42.4% of parents felt that unsafe walking and cycling routes, a lack of or inadequate pavements, ineffective or lack of crossings, unsafe school entrances and dangerous driving were all major factors which prevented their children from walking, cycling or scootering to school. 
 
The first tranche of the Safer Routes to School programme is open until the 29th June 2018. Interested applicants can visit https://www.sustrans.org.uk/scotland/schools/funding-schools for more information. Sustrans is encouraging Universities, further education colleges and other educational establishments to get in touch with the Community Links team to find out more about funding opportunities for this sector.