Initiative to encourage autonomous and sustainable mobility of school children from age of 8 years
1. End users: Mainly children 8 - 12 years old, secondly their parents and tutors and rest of school community.
2. Background: Parent or other relatives drive children by car provoking congestions, poor air quality, noisy schools’ environment and children’s sedentary lifestyle. As a result, it causes a decrease of safety.
3. Objectives: change mobility behaviour of children and their parents, acquire habits on sustainable mobility that will continue as adults, safer streets, healthier children, better air quality, less noise, less congestion, better children’s psychological and psychosocial development.
4. Key factors to consolidate sustainable mobility habits: 4.1. Test new behaviour (e.g.: go to school on foot, bike or by bus) and make positive experience. 4.2. Confirm this new behaviour as a habit by understanding the personal benefits of sustainable mobility and for others.
5. Requisites for parents to allow their kids to go to school on their own or with friends: 5.1. Safety and security 5.2. Awareness of benefits for them (and others)
6. Stages of implementation:
a. Initiative. Can be from Parents’ associations/School or municipalities (SUMPS)
b. Safe routes project:
- Evaluation/diagnosis (how children go/return to school and families’ opinion about the routes and different transport modes)
- Proposals on infrastructures, education and communication
c. Implementation of project
1. To perform safe routes to school project (≥3.000 €)
2. For hard and soft measures in school path
1. Municipality. Staff to lead, implement follow-up measures, results evaluation and run communication campaigns
2. Schools or Associations
Evidence of success
A measurable output is the increase mobility on foot, bike or bus in schools. In the case of Girona, there are 6 safe routes to schools done and 2 that are in process.
Thanks to the safe routes to school, there is a closer relationship between the municipality and the schools, within the municipality (interdepartmental sharing) and within the school.
-To overcome a lack of budget it has been necessary to include safe routes to schools in the SUMPs.
-Lack of infrastructure that promotes sustainable mobility in terms of cycling and walking.
-To get to know the timeframes for each step so that it can be planned with time enough
Potential for learning or transfer
There is a big potential for transfering this activity to other areas and countries due to the fact that the frame conditions are the same, everywhere in Europe: steadily growing use of cars, steadily growing (or even high) degree of motorisation, tendency to a very passive-style of living especially among kids and a more and more increase of perceived dangerous trips to school by parents.