The role of safety in school travel plans

Pinnacle Research & Policy Ltd working with Elke Bossaert (Langzaam Verkeer vzw) and Adrian Davis (Safe Routes to School advisor for Sustrans), prepared a report for the New Zealand Transport Agency (formerly Land Transport Safety Authority) to provide an understanding of:

  • the role that road safety issues play in school travel plans (including the school or councils’ decisions and motivations to undertake school travel plans (STPs)
  • the types of problems and barriers that are found in school communities
  • the interventions identified and implemented as solutions to the problems
  • what effect the implemented solutions have on travel behaviour and road safety.
  • the role and relationship of school travel plans with other projects and programmes (such as Safer Routes, RoadSense and Walking School Buses)

And, consequently to advise the Agency as to how school travel plans can be:

  • Developed or otherwise targeted to address safety-related issues
  • Integrated with or operate alongside other safety-related programmes.

The primary source of information for this project was the international case studies of school travel work undertaken in mainland Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Supplementing this, we canvassed the available literature (including published articles and reports, internet-based information, and unpublished material).

We found it was not possible to make recommendations on how to develop and implement STPs that will achieve quantifiable safety benefits, apart from introducing area-wide 30 km/h school speed zones accompanied by traffic calming.

Instead, we considered known childhood traffic injury risk factors and developed a framework to illustrate the kinds of measures that, if included in a school travel plan should, other things being equal, achieve safety benefits.

The full report including appendices can be downloaded below.


Role of safety in school travel plans (pdf)