To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what (a) financial and (b) other support will be made available to schools to promote (i) walking to school and (ii) other modes of active travel for the purposes of improving concentration and reducing congestion and air pollution around schools.
The Government’s Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, published in April 2017, includes a target to increase the percentage of children aged 5 to 10 that usually walk to school from 49% in 2014 to 55% in 2025.
In support of this, the Department for Transport has provided around £1 million for the Walk to School project, a highly successful programme delivered by Living Streets which aims to increase the number of children walking to school. This funding has also supported the development of the Travel Tracker data collection tool which will be used to inform the impact of Walk to School outcomes.
The Government has also committed around £7.5 million between 2017-2020 to an Access Fund project which is helping more people to access employment, education and training through walking and cycling in ten local authority areas.
The Government has also doubled the PE and Sport Premium from £160 million to £320 million a year from September 2017. This funding is provided to primary schools to improve the quality of their PE and sport provision. Funding can be used to embed physical activity into the school day through active travel to and from school such as cycling and walking.
The Government is providing over £12 million per annum to schools via local authorities to provide Bikeability training to schoolchildren. Bikeability is the Department’s national cycle training programme for schoolchildren. It delivers on-road training, providing trainees with the life skills and confidence they need to travel independently by bike.
Since 2014, the Department for Transport has also provided around £300,000 of funding for an award scheme to promote and recognise schools that have shown excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable travel.