Reducing congestion at the school gate in North Somerset

Sustrans' free six-week active travel to school guide helped significantly reduce traffic around St Nicholas Chantry Primary School in Clevedon - and encouraged more pupils onto their bikes and scooters.
The challenge

St Nicholas Chantry Primary School in Clevedon, North Somerset, had a lot of problems with parking and congestion outside the school. The school was concerned that planned building works would increase the issue, and negatively affect the surrounding community.

They decided to promote walking, cycling and scooting to combat the congestion problem. Through an online search, the school found Sustrans’ six-week step-by-step guide to increasing active travel to school and downloaded it. To implement the guide, the school nominated an Active Travel Champion, who was also the Healthy Schools Coordinator.

The solution

The Champion and Head Teacher used the guide to design a six-week schedule for the school. Each week had several themed lessons and activities for each year group, chosen to gradually build confidence and enthusiasm. A Sustrans officer was able to provide useful contacts, eg Bikeability or Dr Bike providers for cycle training and bike maintenance.

What we’ve achieved is beyond my wildest dreams. It built week on week, with something special for each year group. At the end we all had a real sense of achievement. A month on there are still many more bikes and scooters in the shed.

Activities carried out as part of the six-week schedule included:

  • Key Stage 1 pedestrian training with parents and pupils
  • walk to school week with themed days
  • non-uniform ‘be bright, be seen’ day
  • parents’ evening questionnaire
  • Dr Bike sessions
  • Bikeability training.
The results

Over the six weeks, the number of pupils arriving by car fell from 26% to 20%The school is now planning further activities and working toward Sustrans’ School Mark Bronze award.