Modelling the “new normal” school run

Modelling the “new normal” school run

Modelling the “new normal” school run

Establishing a safe and sustainable way to get the children to school

Can’t believe it is September already! And with September comes all of those back to school thoughts. Do the school shoes still fit? Can we get away with the same shirts as last year? Do you REALLY need those triangle rulers?

Only this year back to school is looking a little bit different. With the ongoing global pandemic parents have been apprehensive about sending their littles one back – particularly if public transport is involved.

So let’s explore some travel solutions that don’t involve Public Transport, but also doesn’t impact the environment the way it would if everyone decided to drive.

New bus routes exclusively for students
In August 2020, the British Education Secretary announced that local transport authorities will receive more than £40 million funding to support students with new dedicated school and college transport services. Including, an additional 200 buses on key routes near 415 schools, in London.
Specifically, the Welsh Government announced an additional £10 million. “This additional £10 million will enable local authorities and operators to determine and deliver the additional services needed to support learners to safely return to school and college. It will also enable bus users who cannot work from home to return to the workplace in a safe manner.”

Basemap are currently working on a new feature within TRACC that can specifically identify the essential routes. Then TRACC can be utilised to model new routes and services to increase capacity.
Dedicated student bus services, allow students to remain in a student bubble, only interacting with those they would encounter, in the classroom, anyway.

Cycling incentives by the government
In May of 2020, the UK Government announced incentives to encourage people to cycle, including specific help for councils and the public. Local authorities were instructed to erect temporary cycle lanes and repurpose roads to be dedicated to cyclists, ensuring cycling is safer and more appealing in cities.

In some cities the councils have decided to make these temporary lanes permanent which will  increase their reach of cycle paths.

For the general public, the government issued bike vouchers for repairs to allow people to start cycling with relatively low start-up costs.

Walking maps for schools

Staffordshire County Council walking map

Walking. The simplest of solutions, free, good exercise and out in the fresh air. But how can schools encourage students to walk to school?

Previously schools have used TRACC to create walking maps. Staffordshire County Council increased active travel by 27% by creating 10 and 30-minute walking zone maps. These maps took 10 minutes to create, the council then added branding and included them in the new school packs.

Sue Benton, School Travel Advisor at the councils explains “the new school packs are concerned with behaviour change and habit setting. With a new job, a new house, a new school, the first 2 weeks sets the pattern as to how you are going to travel for the next 4 or 5 years so those first weeks are crucial.” Particularly as we are trying to establish a “new normal”.

As we head towards the winter months walking and cycling are going to be less desirable options. Local authorities should be prepared for the changes in demand. Utilising TRACC’s multi-modal software, councils can play out various scenarios to ensure access is available across all modes of transport.  Find out more about how TRACC can help you. 

Keziah is the Digital Marketing Executive at Basemap Ltd. She has almost 2 years experience in the digital realm after graduating from the University of Plymouth with a BA in Illustration and a MA in Publishing.