In July the government announced the full opening of schools and further education establishments in the Autumn.
Expectations were also placed on councils to encourage sustainable travel, offer support and provide reassurance for communities during this time.
Since then we have been working in partnership with our local schools, transport operators and travel planners to develop solutions which meet our local needs. 'The new you' is our initiative aimed at encouraging positive behaviour changes and travel choices post lockdown.
Our plans are based on specific guidance issued from government to local authorities.
The new you is travelling back to school
During lockdown we have seen more people exploring their local area, embracing active ways of getting about and enjoying a slower pace of life.
The return to school period provides the new you with an opportunity to re-evaluate your traditional journey and maintain some of the positive behaviour changes that COVID-19 has unintentionally instigated.
We are therefore strongly encouraging parents, carers and young people to consider active travel as their preferred way to get to and from school.
Why active travel is important to the new you
Active travel is walking, cycling and scooting. The health benefits of fresh air and regular exercise that will result from choosing these activities is well known.
With more flexible ways of working and an increase in the number of people exploring the local area on foot or by bike, there is now the potential for more quality family time. For instance, if the new you has primary age children and you are now working from home, try leaving the car on the drive and walk the little one to school.
Most importantly, the new you can continue the spirit of community which has marked lockdown and choose active travel to benefit society. This includes improving local air quality and safeguarding our environment. It will also mean more available space on buses reserved for those with no alternative means of travel.
The new you can park and stride
According to national statistics, half of all journeys to school are two miles or less. Walking, cycling and scooting is a viable option for a high proportion of our residents who would normally make these short journeys by car.
We recognise that for some families who live further afield, there is no other choice. When you have no other alternative than to use the car for the school run, the new you should consider:
- drop off and pick up the kids some distance from school and walk the rest of the way, otherwise known as park and stride
- share trips with friends and neighbours’ children to reduce the number of individual journeys. Ensure that you travel with the same people each time.
Some schools will now prohibit parking outside the premises, so remember to park legally, safely and do not leave the engine running whilst parked.