Scheme aims to persuade parents to ditch the car run

Around £6m is set to be spent on creating new walking and cycling routes for pupils in Barnsley. They will be for a number of new secondary schools which are being built over the next four years, reports The Yorkshire Post.

The routes, which would be well-lit, clearly signposted and safe for children to use, are being designed to persuade more parents to ditch the car run and travel to school by greener means, and they would be created at 11 new schools being developed under Barnsley's £1bn Building Schools for the Future (BSF) scheme.

BSF is the country's biggest-ever school buildings investment programme and the aim is to rebuild or renew nearly every secondary school in England. It brings together significant investment in buildings and in ICT over the coming years to support the Government's educational reform agenda.

Over the next four years, 13 secondary schools will be replaced with nine Advanced Learning Centres (ALCs) and two special schools will either be rebuilt or refurbished. The first of Barnsley's new ALCs are set to open in 2011 and the rest will open in 2012 or 2013.

In total, just under £6m will be spent on creating the new routes and a further £176,000 will be spent on automatic counters to gauge how many people are using them to monitor the success of the scheme.

A report is set to go before a Barnsley Council cabinet meeting next Wednesday, and with councillors set to agree to go ahead with the scheme, work on the new routes would need to begin soon to ensure that they are completed by the time the new schools open.