With more people enjoying an active lifestyle during lockdown and half of all school runs being two miles or less, BCP Council is encouraging everyone to consider walking, cycling or scooting back to school.
Throughout lockdown, residents across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole have been exploring their local area, embracing active ways of getting about and enjoying a slower pace of life.
Focusing on the concept of the new you after lockdown, the council is encouraging everyone to sustain those positive behaviours by highlighting the benefits of active travel and providing support to those journeying back to school or college.
Acknowledging that many residents also rely on public transport, the council is assisting those who travel to school on a bus by facilitating an extra 28 buses at peak times to add capacity to the network. This will enable social distancing where necessary on busy routes.
Councillor Sandra Moore, Portfolio Holder for Children and Families at BCP Council, said:
“The health benefits of fresh air and regular exercise are well known. With flexible and home working practices becoming more prevalent, many of you might be able to find time to walk or cycle your children to school and enjoy some quality family time that we simply didn’t have before lockdown.’’
Councillor Andy Hadley, Portfolio Holder for Transport and Infrastructure, said:
“Now is a good time for parents, carers and students to re-think their traditional journeys and maintain some of those positive behaviours that COVID-19 has unintentionally instigated.
“We hope that as life starts to feel more normal you may choose more active ways to get to and from school. It’s good for you, contributes towards a cleaner environment and relieves pressure on the public transport network and will also help alleviate the car congestion we see across the conurbation on the journey to school or college. Importantly active travel can also be fun time spent together for adults and children.’’
It is also recognised that for some families who live further afield, there may be no other choice than to use the car. In this instance, people can try to park and stride, which involves parking further away from school and walking for at least part of their journey. Parking is also restricted at and around many local schools and people are advised to avoid driving to the school gate.
The new you initiative will contribute towards BCP Council’s vision for vibrant communities with outstanding quality of life where everyone plays an active role. It will also support the council’s priorities for a sustainable environment, fulfilled lives and brighter futures.
For more information on the new you initiative and advice on school or college travel, please visit: bcpcouncil.gov.uk/thenewyou.