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Change in charging for School Travel Plan Assessments  for Independent Schools

Due to recent changes in funding arrangements from Government, the County Council is no longer able to provide School Travel Planning advice or the assessment of School Travel Plans without charge. Whilst previously central Government funding was used to absorb the cost of the County Council assessing and reviewing Travel Plan submissions, this funding is no longer available.

The County Council is keen to continue to promote and support School Travel Plans as submitted through the planning process. In order to achieve this, it will be necessary that the fees for approving and monitoring the School Travel Plans are secured through the planning process, much like Workplace Travel Plans. The cost of staff time can found in Appendix D of the Development Related Travel Plan guidance and on the following link - http://www3.hants.gov.uk/workplacetravel/information_for_developers/assessmentoftravelplans.htm

The criteria as to the content of the travel plan that should be applied to independent schools should follow the assessment tool (please request) which ensures that the unique travel trends of schools are considered and planned for.

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Funding boost for active travel

The County Council has been successful in securing funding until 2015 on a range of sustainable travel initiatives through the Department for Transport's (DfT) Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF).

Within the bid that was successful, sufficient funding was given to enable two officers to work with schools and colleges on active travel measures in the six key towns;

Winchester, Andover, Basingstoke, Fleet, Farnborough and  Aldershot.

This will link up with some of the other elements of the bid that will be looking at social marketing, promoting cycling in local communities and working with workplaces to enable sustainable travel to be an option.

Full details on the bid can be viewed in the official press release.

Southampton City Council was also successful in its own Sustainable City bid and the larger joint submission between the County Council and Transport for South Hampshire (TfSH) has been shortlisted by the DfT along with seven other bids. This bid proposes to provide further active travel support for schools in the south of the County, along strategic corridors.

Successful bids will be announced in Summer 2012.

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Parkwise leaflet

Following the success of Eastleigh's Parkwise leaflet, The County Council have made some slight adjustments so that it can be used by all of the County's schools. The leaflet has s primarily been designed for schools to distribute to parents to advise them of their options on travelling to school, and where the car is the only option, how they should drive and park in the school vicinity to ensure the safety of the school community.
Some hard copies are available, but is mainly available as a PDF.

Parkwise Leaflet
PDF icon An Adobe Acrobat Reader plug-in may be required.

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School Travel Plan Successes

Following the end of the Government's bursary grant and the passing of the target to get 100% of schools with travel plans, a successes document was put together to celebrate the achievements by the County Council's School Travel Plan team and the County's schools.

Headlines in 'School Travel Planning Achievements 2000-2010' include;

  • 85% of all Hampshire schools developed a travel plan by 2010.
  • Approximately £2.9 million has been drawn down to enable sustainable travel measures for Hampshire schools through the DfE's Capital Grant.
  • Between 2003 and 2010 the proportion of children (aged 5-16) walking to school increased by 11 percentage points, with a corresponding decrease in car use.
  • This equates to an approximate reduction in 72,800 carbon tonnes.

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Jan 2011 - Withdrawal of government Funding for School Travel Planning

Official statement from the Director of Environment, Stuart Jarvis;

The County Council has for a number of years maintained a team responsible for supporting the development of School Travel Plans and promoting sustainable travel in schools.  During this time we have worked with schools to achieve almost total coverage in Hampshire of School Travel Plans (97% of state schools)  and, working with other councils, seen a 25% reduction in the number of 5-16 year-olds travelling to school by car between 2003 and 2010.

However, you will be aware that, following the general election, the new Government announced that it would reduce 2010/11 spending by 6.2bn.  One of the items included in this reduction was the Area-Based Grant, including funding for the above functions.  Whilst the project was always planned to be reviewed in March 2011, the early loss of funding requires us to now finish the project somewhat earlier. I have therefore informed the staff in these areas that their work will be wound down over the next few months, with the statutory duty being picked up by the Healthy Schools team in Children's Services.  I felt I should write to inform you of this development, and advise that we are no longer able to provide the previous level of support and development for School Travel Plans.

We had already planned to consolidate the significant progress made so far and review our activities in these areas, but the immediate withdrawal of the funding means that we will have to focus on leaving a legacy of online resources that schools will be able to use for their own local planning.  Although this is disappointing news to have to convey, I believe that Hampshire schools are in a position to continue the positive momentum that has been built up and achieve even more sustainable travel patterns in the future.  Moreover, as part of the County Council's long-term Local Transport Plan strategy  we will continue (as far as resources and priorities allow) to embrace the application of smarter travel choices and support local ambitions that improve health and wellbeing.

I wish you a happy and successful new term.

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Hampshire's School Travel Planning brochure for Independent Schools

The 'How will travel planning benefit my school?' brochure has been developed by HCC's School Travel Planning Team to address the gap in the materials aimed at independent schools, who may not benefit from the same improvements that state schools would gain from the School Travel Planning process.

Concise, clear and professional, the leaflet has been produced with assistance from national organisations as well as some of Hampshire's independent schools who have started to progress towards having their own travel plans.

PDF icon An Adobe Acrobat Reader plug-in may be required.

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Sustrans' Routes 2 Action  and Safer Routes to Schools Newsletters

If you are part of your local school community such as a parent, teacher or governor and would like to find out more information about School Travel Plans and Safer Routes to Schools, then you may be interested to know that Sustrans produce a free termly newsletter.
Routes 2 Action contains many useful examples of initiatives that have been undertaken by other schools in the country and also provides you with an update of any developments, as well as useful tips.

If you would like to receive this publication on a regular basis, please either see their website or email the following details to subscription@sustrans.org.uk.;

Title, First Name, Second Name, Position, School, Address, Postcode and state if the address is either your home or school address.
Sustrans will not pass on your details to any other organisation.

Sustrans also produce a newsletter aimed at 'transport, health, education and environmental professionals.' The Safer Routes to Schools Newsletter is also free and published termly. Again, you can subscribe to this either by emailing your details to schools@sustrans.org.uk or visiting their website.

All of Sustrans free publications are also available to download from their website at http://www.sustrans.org.uk/what-we-do/safe-routes-to-schools

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