Scottish pupils to take part in Sustrans school travel survey

Results will help towards Scotland’s cycling target

by Kevin Emery   August 27, 2009  

Scotsflag.gif

From September 7-11 all of Scotland’s school pupils will have the opportunity to take part in the second national Hands Up Scotland Survey - the largest and most comprehensive survey of travel-to-school behaviour.

The Scottish Government in its Cycling Action Plan for Scotland (CAPS) has proposed using the annual survey to measure progress towards its stated goal of ten percent of Scots cycling by 2020.

The project is delivered in partnership between Sustrans, the UK's leading sustainable transport charity, and School Travel Coordinators across all of Scotland's Local Authorities and provides up-to-date information on how Scottish school children travel to and from school and is being undertaken for the second year.

The results of last year's first-ever Hands Up Scotland Survey revealed more than half of all Scottish school children travel to school by active methods such as walking cycling and scooter - more than those who travel by car, bus or taxi, as well as showing the number of Scottish children cycling and walking to school was higher than expected.

The survey has been devised to give an in-depth view of how children of different ages, from different schools, and from different areas of Scotland choose to travel to and from school. Over the last four years, with £10million of funding from the Scottish Government, Sustrans has been supporting the development and implementation of projects and initiatives to increase the number of children walking and cycling to school.

The information from this year's Hands Up Scotland Survey will be used to identify where interventions have been successful in encouraging pupils to walk, cycle and use public transport, and highlight those regions and schools that need more support to give children the opportunity to make greener and healthier school travel choices.

William Methven, Sustrans' Manager for School Travel in Scotland, said: "We are urging all of Scotland's schools to take part. The information that we gain from the survey is invaluable in ensuring that both Sustrans and Local Authority School Travel Coordinators can continue to effectively tackle the school run by supporting young people to walk and cycle to school."

"The results from the first year of the Hands Up Scotland Survey were very encouraging. We were pleased to see that the work we are delivering in partnership with School Travel Coordinators having a positive impact on the way school children are travelling in Scotland. We now have a benchmark for all future work with schools, and the information collected this year will be incredibly useful in informing this."

"With childhood obesity, road safety issues and the impact of people's travel choices on climate change at the top of the agenda, it's crucial that we encourage and enable more young people to choose healthy, active and safe ways of travelling to school that also benefit the wider environment."

For further information contact your local School Travel Coordinator or Paul Ruffles paul.ruffles@sustrans.co.uk.