School Travel Plans are developed, maintained and monitored by the whole school community, to promote and facilitate sustainable travel for the school journey. A STP sets out practical intiatives and measures to encourage active, healthy, safe and sustainable travel as an alternative to single occupancy car use.

School Travel Plans
The main aim of a STP is to reduce single occupancy car use on the school journey, by promoting and encouraging sustainable travel. Increasing sustainable travel helps to reduce congestion and pollution, as well as improving the health and fitness of children and young people. These are just a few of the many benefits of an active STP.

A STP is developed and monitored by the school to:

  • discover actual and preferred mode of travel for the school journey;
  • identify issues to determine why people do not travel sustainably;
  • set future targets to achieve or maintain modes of sustainable travel (for example to increase cycling; to maintain walking);
  • lay out a plan of action for the tasks that the school will carry out to achieve their targets and aspirations;
  • encourage the whole school community to travel in a safer, healthier and more sustainable way.

Modeshift STARS
Established in 2007, Modeshift is a national membership organisation that specialises in sustainable and active travel, and provides behaviour change support for those working with children, young people, families, school communities, educational establishments and workplaces.

Modeshift STARS (Sustainable Travel Accreditation and Recognition for Schools) provides a framework for the implementation of sustainable and active school travel activities. It is an online system that helps schools to input the information they need to produce a nationally recognised Travel Plan.

The STARS national accreditation scheme offers three levels: Bronze, Silver, and Gold.

Support, advice and guidance
If a STP is to be successful it must be supported by the whole school community, including: parents, teachers, students, governors and the local community. The school will need to appoint a STP Co-ordinator and set up a representative working group.

Bucks County Council’s School Travel Advisor is available to support schools in developing their own plans and will review the completed plans to help ensure that they will be an effective tool to help schools manage their travel issues. The Team will also offer advice and assistance to help schools maintain their STPs over the long term.

The School Travel Advisors have helped Buckinghamshire’s schools reduce the number of children driven to school from 44% in 1999 to around 30% in 2014. This percentage is being maintained year on year¬†which highlights how successful School Travel Planning can be in reducing car use and encouraging sustainable travel on the school journey.