In February 2016, the Scottish Government commissioned research to provide the latest evidence on school transport choices and approaches which influence these choices. It aims to inform policies that minimise car use and maximise active travel.
There is no single answer to achieving high levels of sustainable transport, but combining several elements can be successful. For example, provision of infrastructure for active travel, training to allow safe use of infrastructure, initiatives to encourage behaviour change (competitions, incentives) and achieving buy-in from the whole school community.
Key challenges identified by the research include safety concerns, resource constraints, sustaining active travel rates as children move through the school system from primary school to secondary school, funding pressures and wider societal norms around car use, walking and cycling.
The findings are of particular interest to policy makers and practitioners working in transport, education, health, environment and planning with greater cross-departmental working integral to tackling the school run and promoting travel behaviour change.
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