School Travel Plans

Sustrans Scotland1⁠ writes:

School travel plans are simply a list of actions that a school agrees and commits to run as part of a whole school approach. Writing one should not be an onerous task and working together to put the plan into action can be fun and a great learning experience.”

Many schools see their travel plan as an important component of becoming an excellent school, by supporting pupil’s health, wellbeing, and safety. Others develop School Travel Plans to address specific issues, such as a traffic problem or because of an incident, while others are working towards accreditations such as Eco– School’s Green Flag or the Cycle Friendly School Award. Whatever the reason, the benefits of encouraging active travel are clear and a school travel plan can ensure you have a long–term vision for support at your school.”

School travel plans are not designed with the intention of forcing every pupil to walk, cycle or scoot every day. Instead, school travel plans should reduce the barriers and increase the incentives to active travel for as many staff, pupils and parents as possible.”

What a school travel plan is:

  • An opportunity to bring together teachers, parents, students, and communities.
  • A way to encourage the whole school’s commitment to active travel.
  • A tool to develop teacher, parent and pupil skills.
  • A way to gather data and show outcomes.
  • A commitment to encouraging active travel and to supporting a healthy, happy school environment.

What a school travel plan isn’t:

  • A long, exhaustive document.
  • Something that takes a long time to develop.
  • A one-off, a document that doesn’t change.”

Reading this, it reminded me of something!

What is Future Search?2

Future Search is a principle-based PLANNING MEETING that helps people transform their capability for action very quickly. The meeting is task-focused. It brings together 60 to 100 people in one room or hundreds in parallel rooms.

Future Search brings people from all walks of life into the same conversation – those with authority, resources, expertise, information, and need. They meet for 20 hours spread across three days. People tell stories about their past, present and desired future. Through dialogue, they discover their common ground. Only then do they make concrete action plans.

The meeting design comes from theories and principles tested in many cultures for the past 50 years. It relies on mutual learning among stakeholders as a catalyst for voluntary action and follow-up. People devise new forms of cooperation that continue for months or years.

Future Searches have been run in every part of the world and in every sector of society.

Future Search Principles:

  • Get the “whole system” in the room. Invite a significant cross-section of all parties with a stake in the outcome – those with authority, resources, expertise, information, and need.
  • Explore the “whole elephant” before seeking to fix any part. Get everyone talking about the same world. Think globally, act locally.
  • Put common ground and future focus front and center while treating problems and conflicts as information, not action items.
  • Encourage self-management and responsibility for action by participants before, during and after the Future Search.

I propose that schools take the whole school approach a step further and implement a whole earth approach. I propose we all map our lives and our neighbourhoods together.3


1. School Travel Planning Toolkit Education & Young People, Sustrans Scotland.

2. Search, F. Future Search Network. (2015). Available at: (Accessed: 23rd January 2015)

3. Groot, R. de & CROW kenniscentrum voor verkeer, vervoer en infrastructuur. Design manual for bicycle traffic. (CROW, 2016).

4. Hass-Klau, C. An Illustrated Guide to Traffic Calming: C Hass-Klau: Books. (1990).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s