Sustainable Modes of Travel Strategy 2018-2025
Last updated: 16 September 2020
Suffolk County Council
Suffolk’s Sustainable Modes of Travel strategy (SMOT) was prepared in 2018 based on
decisions reached to introduce an updated School Travel Policy with effect from September
2019 and in terms of the changes arising from the Children & Families Act 2014.
Minor updates were made in 2020 to reflect current availability of services. Data upon which
the strategy is based has not been reviewed.
Further updates were made to the document in September 2020 to add these links to
information relating to the coronavirus pandemic:
Covid-19 - advice on travelling to school
Active travel improvements for cycling and walking
Working with partners, schools and colleges will help to improve the strategy and improve
sustainable travel in Suffolk so please send any comments to
Suffolk’s School Travel Policy was amended in 2019/2020.
It is important for parents to understand how this might affect eligibility for Suffolk County
Council (SCC) funded school travel before applying for a school place. Children living in
Suffolk who started at a new school in September 2019 or start after this date, will be eligible
for SCC funded school travel when they meet the statutory walking distance criteria from their
home to the nearest suitable school that would have had a place available for them. This
would be whether or not an application was made for a place at that school. Full details about
SCC funded school travel, including additional arrangements for low income families and
those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), can be found at
Chapter 1 Introduction and Vision ................................................................................................ 4
Introduction ....................................................................................................................... 4
Vision ................................................................................................................................ 4
School Travel Plans .......................................................................................................... 5
Chapter 2 Local Agenda and new School Travel Strategy ................................................... 7
Local Agenda .................................................................................................................... 8
Suffolk Brokerage ............................................................................................................. 9
Benefits, safety, and resilience when travelling sustainably to school: ........................... 10
How you can help ........................................................................................................... 11
How to report issues with Public Rights of Way .............................................................. 14
Chapter 3 Priorities and Actions ......................................................................................... 15
Priority A – Walking and Cycling ..................................................................................... 15
Priority B – Sustainable Travel ....................................................................................... 15
Priority C – Special Educational Needs and Disabilities ................................................. 16
Priority D – Post-16 ......................................................................................................... 17
Chapter 4 Assessing Travel Needs .............................................................................................. 18
Introduction and baselines .............................................................................................. 18
Context ........................................................................................................................... 18
Data Sources .................................................................................................................. 19
Equality Impact Assessment ........................................................................................... 21
New school provision ...................................................................................................... 24
Chapter 5 Audit of Sustainable Travel ................................................................................ 28
Accessibility Mapping ..................................................................................................... 28
Primary Map ................................................................................................................... 29
Secondary Phase Map ................................................................................................... 30
Post-16 Map ................................................................................................................... 31
Rights of Way ................................................................................................................. 34
Connecting Communities ................................................................................................ 34
Appendices: ......................................................................................................................... 37
National and Legal Picture .............................................................................................. 37
Strategy Development Process ...................................................................................... 37
Suffolk Context and Strategies Context .......................................................................... 39
Case studies ................................................................................................................... 49
Local Initiatives ............................................................................................................... 54
School travel poster ........................................................................................................ 56
Chapter 1 Introduction and Vision
This Sustainable Modes of Travel (SMOT) Strategy sets out the vision and actions for Suffolk
County Council (SCC), education settings, operators and other partners to increase
opportunities for children and young people to travel to, from and between early years
settings, schools and colleges by sustainable modes, for example, walking, biking and travel
Our vision is “Suffolk residents have increased travel options and the ability to arrange their
own transport to meet their needs, without public subsidy.”
The SMOT Strategy includes maps showing the distribution of settings across Suffolk and
outlines the principles and priorities in terms of improving the viability of sustainable travel for
children and young people. Overall, we want to improve the health of children through active
travel and by reducing congestion caused by school runs, with improvements in local air
quality. Sustainable outcomes will be achieved through local updates by schools and other
educational settings, to make sure their travel plan is current and sets out local sustainable
travel priorities. Partnership working between Suffolk County Council, Districts and
Boroughs, Parish Councils, educational settings, transport operators, parents and carers,
children and young people is an important feature.
The aim of the SMOT Strategy is to provide children and young people with the opportunities
to travel to and from early years settings, schools, colleges and other educational providers in
a sustainable way; increasing their own and their family’s awareness of the benefits of healthy
Various Suffolk strategies encourage a shift to more sustainable travel patterns.
• Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) - State of Suffolk – how we travel
• Suffolk Road Safety Strategy - to make the roads of Suffolk safer for all
• Active travel improvements for cycling and walking - how we’re making it safer and
easier for you to walk and cycle in Suffolk
These promote the benefits of sustainable and/or active travel to improve children and young
people’s health and wellbeing and improving the quality of the local environment.
By schools and other education providers adopting a sustainable approach to travel planning
this can help families save money and help their child develop their independence.
Sustainable modes of travel to school can include:
1. Walking, cycling and scooting
2. Park and stride (for example, parking further away and walking the last 5 minutes to
school), or travel blending
3. Using public transport – bus, train or Connecting Communities rural transport
4. Car sharing
To find advice on travelling to school safely during the Covid-19 pandemic go to:
Advice on travelling to school
School Travel Plans
All schools in Suffolk have a School Travel Plan (STP) which identifies the challenges children
and families may experience during their journey to and from school. It sets out the school’s
aims to overcome these problems and describes the steps to improve these. Each school
owns its own School Travel Plan and is responsible for reviewing the plan regularly.
Effective and up to date School Travel Plans, should include measures to improve safety and
reduce car use and should involve the school working in partnership with education, health
and transport representatives from the local authority, public transport operators and the
To help schools, colleges and other educational providers with the activity of keeping their
school travel plan up to date, SCC promotes the use of the Modeshift STARS online
resource. This is available free of charge to all schools in Suffolk and is designed to:
• improve sustainable travel
• reduce congestion around the school gates
• improve the health and well-being of children and families
• offer an accreditation system with local and national awards for individual schools.
SCC funded 5 million journeys to school a year under the former (2018-19) School Travel
Policy which included a discretionary arrangement of providing transport, subject to distance
and age, to the Transport Priority Area school. Most families (88%) arrange their own travel
Phasing in the new School Travel Policy, which started in September 2019, gave schools,
colleges and other educational providers the opportunity to update their school travel plans
using the online Modeshift STARs resource. This will give Suffolk an up to date baseline for
monitoring sustainable travel and improvements to air quality around schools.
Information about all types of travel plans can be found at www.suffolk.gov.uk/travelplans.
School and Post-16 Travel Policy Statements from 2019 onwards
Following consultation of the School and Post-16 Travel Policy, SCC’s Cabinet agreed on 19
June 2018 to introduce a new policy statement “Home to School Travel Policy 2019-2020” on
a phased basis with effect from September 2019 for children as they join or move schools,
age and distance criteria apply.
Full details of the Cabinet paper can be found in Agenda Item 07
Cabinet also agreed to maintain the existing Post-16 Travel Policy for 2019, with charging for
spare seats in accordance with the decisions reached. See note below*.
Through SCC’s Passenger Transport Unit, SCC will support parents and carers to
understand the sustainable choices they can make with a range of travel options, and
work with transport operators to increase availability of public transport, funded by
others. For more information go to www.suffolkonboard.com/schooltravel.
*Note about spare seats [September 2020]
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic we are unable to open the application process to sell
spare seats on school buses for the 2020/21 school year. For more information go to the
Spare Seats section on: www.suffolkonboard.com/schooltravel
Chapter 2 Local Agenda and new
School Travel Strategy
SCC’s new School Travel Policy became effective in September 2019; some of the changes
are being phased in and some are to improve efficiencies, such as opting in.
Families who are making their preferences for school places for September 2021, will
find useful information and advice on how to apply for a school place on
www.suffolk.gov.uk/admissions. Please note the admissions policies and the School
Travel Policy are separate, and families need to consider how they will get their child to
school, which includes sustainable travel options, when making preferences for a
SCC’s Cabinet reached the decision on 19 June 2018, to introduce a new policy statement
School Travel Policy 2019-2020 on a phased basis with effect from September 2019, for
children as they join or move schools, age and distance criteria apply.
The new arrangements, which came into effect from September 2019 include:
• Opt-in to travel, where parents ask us to assess their eligibility. We would only allocate a
seat to an eligible learner if the parent requests this
• Ask all parents to tell us annually that they would require a seat, where eligible (including
children who are currently receiving SCC funded school travel)
• Use Public Rights of Way when measuring the distance from home to school for
• Suffolk Brokerage where capacity building support is available to schools and
communities from the Passenger Transport Unit to help:
Signpost parents to commercial operators when parents wish to buy a seat for their
child to travel and/or
Where any spare seats exist on closed contracts running to schools, sell these
on a first come first serve basis.
Go to note about spare seats
Advise families in planning their children’s travel arrangements
Under the new arrangements, a child will remain eligible for travel to their current school if
they were receiving SCC funded school travel in July 2019, are aged 5-16 and continue to
live at their current home address. The one exception to this is children who turn eight and
who live between two and three miles from their current school. Prior to turning eight, such
children are entitled to SCC funded school travel if they live more than 2 miles from their
nearest suitable school. However, once they turn eight, such children are only entitled to
SCC funded school travel if they live more than 3 miles from their nearest suitable school.
Children starting a new school from September 2019 onwards will be assessed under this
new policy (www.suffolkonboard.com/schooltravel). Under SCC’s new policy, there are no
Transport Priority Areas (i.e. areas where children would receive SCC funded school travel
to a particular school over and above the statutory minimum).
The School Travel Policy is for residents of Suffolk whose children are of statutory school
age (i.e. 5-16 years). It also applies to Rising 5-year olds. The discretionary elements of the
new School Travel Policy are as follows:
• Rising 5-year olds
• Two-Tier Education in the Bury St Edmunds Area
• St Benedict’s Catholic School (no longer applicable now it is not a split site)
• Prioritising Suffolk Schools for nearest suitable school, and in addition, where parents
request their absolute nearest school out of county, SCC funded school travel would be
provided, subject to distance, when assessed as eligible
Cabinet also reached the decision on 19 June 2018 to retain the current Post-16 Travel
Policy. The Post-16 Travel Policy can be found at: www.suffolkonboard.com/schooltravel.
Additionally, it was agreed to offer unallocated seats on school buses where there is spare
capacity for statutory school age and Post-16 children and young people to buy on a first
come first served basis at £840 per annum in September 2020, with phased in increases of
£30 per term (£90 per year) to reduce the public subsidy Suffolk County Council provides.
The current cost increase of £10 per term (£30 per year) for unallocated seats to statutory
school age and Post-16 children with special educational needs and/or disabilities will
remain (in September 2020 this is £720 per annum).
Families may have to think about travel options as there were changes to the bus/coach
service patterns provided when the new School Travel Policy was introduced in September
2019. Families should consider this when making decisions about preferences for schools.
The policy change will mean:
• There will be fewer SCC contract buses and spare seats as with reduced numbers of
children who are eligible or opting in to take up their funded seat, SCC will be reviewing
routes, optimising services and making more use of commercial bus services where they
exist. SCC may also purchase a seat(s) on vehicles run by schools, if this proves to be
the best value option.
• The new Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations 2020 that came into effect
from 1 January 2020 restricts the number of spare seats that SCC can sell.
For more information go to: Bus and coach accessibility and the Public Service Vehicle
Accessibility Regulations 2000
• Some children will be expected to walk to school using a Public Right of Way
• More parents might be looking to informally car share to get their children to a school of
• More schools may look at running their own transport services for their families
Suffolk County Council as part of Suffolk Brokerage will encourage operators, schools, parish
councils and all other interested stakeholders to work together to:
• highlight and capture demand of potential future passengers
• facilitate discussions to ensure financially viable transport routes
• help discussions between transport operators, schools and parish councils to calculate
what the funding gap might be to make a transport route financially sustainable
• facilitate discussions with local volunteers that may be willing to drive for Community
Transport Organisations for their local area.
Transport operators can help by:
• proactively having discussions with schools in their local area
• promoting current transport services, routes and fares with local parish councils
• having discussions with local communities on future passenger demand
• capturing information from customer enquiries on potential future demand.
Suffolk Local Solutions and how these can be developed with schools:
• Suffolk County Council helped develop potential Local Solutions.
• The Local Solutions menu provides potential ideas that could make savings and/or
mitigate impact of the policy changes. The Local Solutions will work side-by-side phasing
in the school travel policy and include working with schools, colleges, local communities
and/or parish councils. Suffolk County Council would need to agree the detail prior to
implementation. Part of the agreement would include an assessment of the impact on
the health and well-being of the children affected.
Suffolk Brokerage can provide capacity building support and facilitate the development of
Local Solutions. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Benefits, safety, and resilience when travelling sustainably to
(this section is adapted from BBC School travel information)
Walking to school
As a family, please think about the benefits of walking to school, or travel blending so that
this becomes your family’s daily routine during school term time.
• Walking is healthy, helps children get their recommended hour of physical activity a
day and maintain a healthy weight, is free and doesn't create pollution. It also reduces
traffic congestion during the 'school run'.
• Walking to school also gives older children independence. Once they know their route
and can cross roads safely, they can walk by themselves or with friends.
• Younger children need to be accompanied by an adult, especially if there are busy
roads. If you can't walk your child to school, they might be able to join a 'walking bus'.
This is when a group of children walk to school with at least two adults. Even if you
can walk your child to school, a walking bus enables you to share the responsibility
with other parents and frees up a bit of extra time.
Cycling to school
• If your child cycles to school, make sure their bike is in good working order, and that
they wear a helmet and reflective jacket. Work out the best route, with the least traffic.
• Ask your child's school about cycle training – called Bikeability in Suffolk.
• Cycling is a good way to get to school, quicker than walking, also helps with the
recommended hour a day physical exercise but young people aged between 11 and
15 are more likely to be killed or injured on the roads than any other group, so they
need to be aware of the dangers.
Driving to school
If walking or cycling are not possible, there are several ways of getting to school by road:
• public transport
• school buses
• family car
Driving your child to school with empty seats in your car is the least environmentally-friendly
way to get them to school. However, it's still the way many get to school, especially while
they are at primary school. If this is your situation, it's worth taking some time to see if you
could organise it any other way, at least on some days.
Travel tips for secondary pupils
• Practise your child's journey with them before they start secondary school.
• Choose busy times, not in the middle of the day.
• Make sure your child is aware of potential danger points - looking carefully before
crossing busy roads, taking extra care at bus stops and getting on and off trains.
• Make sure your child keeps their possessions safe, eg mobile phones, keys and money.
• Talk with your child about what they would do if something unexpected happened, eg if
there was a security alert on their train and passengers were asked to leave the train.
• Talk with your child about what they should do if they felt threatened, eg if they felt an
adult was following them or behaving oddly on public transport.
(The section above was adapted from BBC School travel information)
How you can help
The role of parents, schools, colleges of further education, and parish councils in
delivering this strategy.
When making preferences for a school place, think about the travel arrangements and how
you will organise your child’s travel.
• Consider the following options when planning your child/ren’s travel arrangements:
• Walk or scoot to school with your children
o Walk the route to school with your child for the first time if they are going up to
secondary school; note if they are going to need wellies.
o Find more information about walking to school look on the walk or bike page of
Suffolk on Board which includes a guidance video about walking to school
o Tips and resources to help children walk to school from Living Streets the UK
charity for everyday walking
o Use an organised walking bus route running to your child’s school
• Cycle to school
o Find more information about cycling to school, look on the walk or bike page of
Suffolk on Board which includes a guidance video about cycling to school
o Encourage your child to do Bikeability which is offered in many Suffolk schools
o Take part in Suffolk Roadsafe FREE cycling sessions for families and children.
We can help you find the best cycle route to school
o Visit the Bikeability site: essential cycling skills for families
Download the Bikeability Parent’s Handbook for more advice on family cycling
o Children aged 13 and over can join social platform Suffolk Love to Ride. Riders
can set goals, track distance, earn badges, share photos and stories and
encourage others to ride.
o Find information about cycling in Suffolk on Suffolk On Board
• Park the car and stride some of the way with your family to school
o Find more information about Park & Stride on Suffolk on Board which includes
a guidance video about driving to school
o Find out if your child’s school has a Walking Bubble map so you can find out
where to park that’s at least 5 minutes away from school
o Check out evidence of sustainable travel where families park their car in the
local church car park, or the local pub (after gaining permission), and walking
• Are there other ways of ‘travel blending’ as a family?
• Is there scope to informally car share? Ask your child’s school. Often schools can
facilitate a coffee morning for interested families to explore this and check your car
insurance. You can find out more about car sharing on Suffolk on Board which
includes a guidance video about driving to school
• Use the School’s Travel Plan to get up to date information about sustainable travel
• Explore other sustainable travel options with your child’s school
• Use a public bus route – Suffolk on Board gives information about the public bus
routes running near to schools
Watch guidance videos about getting to school, college or sixth form by bus
• Ask about the School Travel Plan at your child/ren’s school(s)/education setting.
Get involved and help the school(s) to update it
• Provide transport for pupils. Let SCC buy places on your buses for those that are eligible
for funded travel
• Update your School Travel Plan to include new bus routes, and public rights of way that
will be regularly used to get to school
• Start a car share scheme
• Work with SCC on local bus transport solutions and provide information for Getting Ready
list of routes.
• Promote sustainable travel and ensure the governing body agenda includes a regular
item on sustainable travel.
• Create a Modeshift STARS Walking Bubble map to encourage parents to park 5 minutes
away from the school.
Resources for schools from Suffolk County Council website
• A matrix to provide school leaders with ideas of how to manage social distancing at
school entrances (pdf. 165KB)
• Activities from Sustrans that can help you increase physical activity, reduce
congestion and improve safety
• Why the walk to school matters, with resource packs to help you encourage kids and
parents to make the shift
• Leaflet to send to parents on getting to school (pdf. 170KB)
Colleges of Further Education
• Provide transport for your students. Let SCC buy places on your buses for those that are
eligible for free travel
• Create or update your travel plan to include new bus routes and public rights of way that
will be regularly used to get to college
• Organise how students can share travel
• Work with SCC on local bus transport solutions and provide information for Getting Ready
list of routes
• Help develop local transport solutions that could benefit all in your area (fund buses, work
with community transport)
• Help maintain the public rights of way (PROW)s in your parish that are used by children
• Help identify walking and cycling improvements and work with SCC to build funding
How to report issues with Public Rights of Way
Public Rights of Way are used in the measurement of routes to school. SCC recognises that
sudden issues due to fallen trees and overgrowth following periods of rain need to be
addressed to enable students to continue to walk to school.
Parents, students, schools, colleges and Parish Councils can report any issues with Public
Rights of Way in Suffolk using the online reporting tool
Report a Public Right of Way issue
You can highlight routes that are used for walking to school when making a report
Chapter 3 Priorities and Actions
We have our SMOT priorities and the following actions:
Priority A – Walking and Cycling
Local initiatives and supporting schools to promote sustainable options to parents.
1. Through case studies, we will publish and promote initiatives
2. Promote the health and wellbeing benefits of walking to and from schools, colleges and
other educational providers, and involving the wider family
3. Encourage local campaigns through individual schools and multi-academy trusts, to run
their own promotions
4. Make use of a bike or a walking assistant for those who are eligible for funded school
5. Continue to support Bikeability and Road Safety initiatives in Suffolk.
Priority B – Sustainable Travel
Audit of local travel patterns, making routes available for walking and cycling, developing
Connecting Communities, brokering relationships between educational settings and
transport operators, and planning for the future. Achieve the outcomes by working with a
wide range of partners, including Public Health.
1. Through detailed analysis, set priorities in relation to sustainable travel at a local level
within Suffolk, to compliment the new School Travel Policy and arrangements.
2. Make more routes safe and available to walk and cycle, including road safety training and
engagement through schools.
3. Grow Connecting Communities so there are more local and sustainable travel
4. Promote the Modeshift STARS with all schools, colleges and educational providers in
5. Explore and promote travel blending and informal lift-sharing. Explore the development of
a demonstrator with an education setting.
6. Develop technological solutions for Suffolk, such as journey planning or calorie counting
7. Use learning from the Total Transport Research to encourage new initiatives in
communities in Suffolk.
8. SCC as part of Suffolk Brokerage will encourage operators, schools, parish councils and
all other interested stakeholders to work together to:
• highlight and capture demand of potential future passengers
• facilitate discussions to ensure financially viable transport routes
• facilitate discussions between transport operators, schools and parish councils to
calculate what the funding gap might be to make a transport route financially
• facilitate discussions with local volunteers that may be willing to drive for Community
Transport Organisations for their local area.
9. SCC will continue to promote Local Solutions with schools, colleges and local
communities – for information on the range of Local Solutions, go to
Priority C – Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
Supporting Suffolk partners’ SEND Strategy, by increasing independence through travel
training and empowering children and young people to use mainstream transport,
developing personal budgets and helping families to travel plan.
1. Work with Suffolk Parent Carer Network and young people champions to co-produce
updates to the school travel local offer so they are clear, comprehensive, easy to access
2. Grow awareness of benefits of least restrictive travel arrangements
3. Increase independent travel training and take up of personal travel budgets
4. Link with SCC Adult and Community Services to support individual access solutions for
Post-19 learners/adults aged 19 to 25, where there is a travel need
5. Co-produce with Suffolk Parent Carer Network, case studies to support the above
actions, for example tips for families whose young people with SEND are wanting to plan
to learn to drive.
Priority D – Post-16
Promote up to date travel plans, making best use of post-16 bursary funds, promoting travel
training, developing the mobility as a service model for the future.
1. Raising awareness of the Post-16 travel policy for young people with special educational
needs and/or disabilities (SEND) through publication of the SCC Transitions Guide and
working with Post-16 providers to update their pages on the Local Offer website.
2. Raise awareness of the Post-19 learners travel policy on Suffolk’s Local Offer.
3. Broker collaboration between Post-16 providers and operators so they work
collaboratively to develop sustainable travel solutions
4. Support and promote travel training for all young people
5. Co-production work with Post-16 providers to ensure there is clear and accessible
information on provider websites about the Post-16 bursary fund which can support
students with travel costs.
Promoting sustainable modes of travel will have the following measurable impact:
• Increase young people’s independence
• Improving their health and reducing obesity through active travel
• Help to lessen the impact of rural isolation
• Improve air quality in and around schools and reduce environmental impact. Act as an
enabler, in terms of working towards and achieving the preparing for adulthood outcomes
• Promote travel options to reduce reliance on individual car journeys to and from school
• Increase percentage of journeys made on public transport and through Connecting
Communities, and the use of the Endeavour Card
• Reduce congestion to improve air quality and safety around school sites
• Achieve an efficient and cost-effective school travel network
The SMOT Strategy is not limited to the journey to and from school and college but should
support children and young people and families to learn, work and socialise.
Chapter 4 Assessing Travel Needs
Introduction and baselines
With the changing landscape of educational provision and the need to identify travel and
transport needs of children and young people in school, college and other educational
providers across Suffolk, the SMOT Strategy seeks to achieve the priorities set out, to
increase the number of children and young people travelling sustainably. This has been
informed by detailed analysis, based on the most recent survey of all modes of travel
included in the School Census January 2011.
Our research shows that as at 2017 most families in Suffolk (88%) arrange travel for their
own children. We will continue to monitor this as the new travel policy is implemented:
1. on a year by year basis from September 2019,
2. together with the number of updated school travel plans.
From the analysis which SCC has undertaken using school census data our initiatives should
be as follows:
• Initiate a campaign with schools, colleges and other educational providers, for
individual educational settings to use Modeshift STARs online resource, to complete a
survey in the second half of the autumn term each year, on how children travel to their
• For schools and other educational settings to use their governing body meetings
to organise a sub-group to review the school travel plan regularly
• With the Stakeholder Partner Group promote the continued use of the Modeshift
STARs online resource by individual schools, colleges and educational settings
• For the emphasis to be on primary schools reviewing their school travel plans and
priorities, together with the secondary schools potentially most impacted by the change of
• Recognising that the emphasis should be more on rural settings rather than urban
settings, appreciating that there are several urban ‘hotspots’
More information on Modeshift STARS can be found in the appendix.
Following the Suffolk School Organisational Review (SOR) that changed from a three-tier
education system to generally a two-tier education system across Suffolk, there has been an
improvement in terms of sustainable travel. The final phase of the SOR became effective from
1 September 2016. Families generally have less need to travel to a multiple number of
schools and educational settings, although this is offset where there are pressures in terms
of the demand for school places.
With the change to the Post-16 Travel Policy from September 2015, and options to attend a
choice of provision Post-16, the travel demands and patterns of Post-16 students can often
change over the course of an academic year. This is for several reasons – flexible timetables,
greater personalised learning, opportunities to learn to drive, and developing independence.
This combination of factors has led to an overall reduction of 67% (between 2014 and
2019) in applications for Post-16 travel since this change of policy. The fall is greatest for
mainstream students (73%) while for those students with special educational needs and
disabilities, there has been a fall of 22% applying for Post-16 travel.
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Mainstream 1987 1683 1160 781 754 527
SEN 254 254 236 220 219 198
Total 2241 1937 1396 1001 973 725
In addition to these figures in 2018, 45 Post 16 mainstream students requested spare seats (as
they did not meet the Post 16 policy criteria) and 29 in 2019.
Figures show between 2009/10 and 2018/19 the number of young people passing the driving
test has fallen. This is mainly due to a fall in numbers of practical driving tests taken by 17 to
20-year olds. The number of tests taken by both men and women for this age group has fallen
by around 3% across the country.
In Suffolk, fewer young drivers puts an additional stress on the need for alternative
sustainable travel arrangements but raises the risk of young people being involved in multicasualty
collisions as they may share journeys more often with their peers, especially in rural
A report produced summer 2016 from a Young Person’s perspective on the functioning of
Connecting Communities transport services highlighted the importance of avoiding social
exclusion for young people living in rural areas by facilitating sustainable travel alternatives.
In January 2015 all schools in England were added to the Modeshift STARS online school travel
planning website. Schools can now collect mode share data via this system and during spring
2016 a campaign took place in Suffolk to raise awareness of the benefits this tool offers to
individual school communities.
Again, in January 2018, during the consultation on proposals relating to the School Travel
Policy and Post-16 travel policies, links to Modeshift STARs and the benefits of this online
resource was shared at the headteachers engagement event held at Kesgrave.
As more schools become active in using the system and work towards the National
Accreditation Scheme, it is hoped that this will provide another valuable source of data.
Annual School Census
We have used the mode shift data from the school census 2011 to understand the
distribution by mode. Within Priority 2 of this strategy, we seek to address the method of
measuring mode via Modeshift STARs.
Pupil Forecasts and Home to School Travel demand growth
Demand is increasing for home to school travel due to an increasing population and
reduction in available capacity in terms of school places.
• For primary phase
The long-term change in population is uncertain with the primary population due to grow
by 1.4% up to 2021-2022. A decline in primary pupil birth numbers has occurred across
Suffolk. This is less significant in the urban areas and new pupils from housing
developments should keep the numbers fairly stable. Therefore, given that in urban
areas, transport is not usually a requirement, the forecast impact for primary in terms of
transport is likely to be low.
• For secondary phase
The amount of population growth to 2023-2024 is 10.0%. Most of the population growth
is in urban areas where there is little eligibility to SCC funded travel. The population
growth in rural areas is smaller, and much of this growth is in the rural towns where the
secondary schools are located. Therefore, it is likely that most children will live within
statutory walking distance of schools, and the active travel priority within this refresh will
• For Post-16 phase
ONS population projections show the number of 16 to 18 year olds, which has been
declining for several years, has reached its lowest point and will grow by 19% to 2028.
Cohort No. Ages
2019 23544 -1.9%
2020 24177 2.7%
% change from
2021 24783 2.5%
2022 25382 2.4%
2023 25824 1.7%
2024 26620 3.1%
2025 27080 1.7%
2026 27437 1.3%
2027 27793 1.3%
2028 28015 0.8%
2029 27955 -0.2%
Primary and secondary population figures also include new developments with town planning
permission, but Post-16 figures do not.
Data Analysis Techniques
At a countywide level, detailed analysis has taken place to assess the level of sustainable
modes of travel, for each type, and features which relate to the phase of education, given:
• The recent decision to implement a revised School Travel Policy on phased basis with
effect September 2019
• The development of new provision both at statutory age, and post-16 provision in Bury St
• The new special school provision – both provision which has just opened and is planned
through the SEND Sufficiency Plan (as agreed by Cabinet September 2018)
The above will allow Suffolk to consider how well sustainable travel modes are
provided and used. Local analysis needs to consider:
• School and College Level – this can assist in terms of mode share and analysis by
individual school and or college
• Urban and Rural Split - Given the rural nature of Suffolk it is important to look at issues in
Equality Impact Assessment
The Equalities Act 2010 requires Suffolk County Council when exercising its functions to have
due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster
good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons
who do not share a protected characteristic.
The protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 are:
• Sexual orientation
• Religion or belief
• Pregnancy and maternity
• Marriage and civil partnership
• Gender reassignment
And in Suffolk there is also the local protected characteristic of rurality (non-statutory).
Equalities Impact Assessment Reports are published in terms of Suffolk School Travel Policy
for 2019, and the Post-16 Travel Policy (2018) which are published on Suffolk County
In terms of childhood obesity in Suffolk, the 2016-2017 data profile is as follows:
• Suffolk 8.8%
• National 9.6%
Year 6 children:
• Suffolk 17.2%
• National 20.0%
(Ipswich shows a worse figure than nationally for Year 6 cohort, standing at 19.5%; Waveney
shows the second worse figure for Suffolk standing at 19.1%).
Health and Wellbeing of families
The JSNA assessment highlights the following:
For School age children (age 5-15)
• It is estimated that approximately 1 In 7 children live in relative poverty (15%) in Suffolk
• Health measures for Suffolk’s Looked After Children are poorer than the rest of the
population, including vaccinations, dental check-ups and mental health. They also have
lower education attainment throughout school
• The percentage of pupils who are persistently absent from school is almost twice as high
in the most deprived areas
• The percentage of obese children is higher in the most deprived areas compared to the
least deprived areas
For young people aged 16-24
• The proportion of young people Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) in the
most deprived areas is 5 times higher compared to the least deprived areas.
• There are health inequalities in this age group. There is substantial variation around rates
of teenage conception, chlamydia diagnoses, obesity and many other aspects of young
people’s health depending on where they live, reflecting the associations with poverty
• Males are more likely than females to be active at almost every age. Physical activity
declines with age in both sexes, but more steeply in females.
• Teenage pregnancy is associated with poorer health and wellbeing outcomes for both
mother and baby.
• This stage of the life course receives less attention than others (Viner et al 2015).
In terms of religion and belief, in Suffolk the phasing-out of the discretionary travel policy to
faith schools, concluded in Academic Year (AY) 2016-2017.
Families, depending upon where they live, have access to secondary school places in a range
of secondary catholic schools across Suffolk:
• St Alban’s Catholic High School, Ipswich
• St Benedict’s Catholic School, Bury St Edmunds (Part of the two-tier school organisation
arrangements with effect from September 2016.)
For those living near the county boundaries:
• Notre Dame School, Norwich
For Church of England secondary schools, these are as follows:
• Debenham High School, Debenham
• King Edward VI CE VC Upper School, Bury St Edmunds (*Part of the two-tier school
organisation arrangements with effect from September 2016.)
In accordance with the Education Act 1996, schedule 35B (as inserted by the Education &
Inspections Act 2006) , a child is eligible for free home to school travel if their parents get the
Maximum Working Tax Credit or the child is entitled to Free School Meals due to low income,
if they are aged 11 to 16, and the school is 2 to 15 miles away and it is their nearest school
preferred on the grounds of the parent’s religion or belief.
There are a range of voluntary aided Catholic and Church of England primary schools. In
addition, there are a number of voluntary controlled Church of England primary schools.
Where Church of England voluntary aided primary schools or academies are based in
rural settlements, they generally operate catchment area admission arrangements, whereas
those based in urban areas, generally operate ecclesiastical boundaries rather than
catchment areas. Specific information can be found in the Directory of Schools in Suffolk
for Primary (including infant, junior and middle) schools at www.suffolk.gov.uk/admissions.
New school provision
The Education and Learning Planning and Commissioning Board confirms the demand for
and location of new school places needed in Suffolk.
The scope of the demand covers early years and childcare, primary, secondary including 6th
forms, special schools and pupil referral units.
In terms of meeting demand for 2018-2019 school year, the following new provision has been
Two new primary schools are opening in September 2018. The Limes Primary
Academy in Lowestoft (admission number 60, eventual capacity 420); The Pines
Primary School in Red Lodge (admission number 30, capacity 210, with expansion to
420 when required).
Other primary schools have expanded to increase their admission number and capacity.
In Ipswich: Castle Hill Infant School (admission number increasing from 75 to 90, capacity
increasing by 45); Castle Hill Junior School (admission number increasing from 75 to 90,
capacity increasing by 60); The Willows Primary School (admission number increasing from
45 to 60, capacity increasing by 105).
In Haverhill: Clements Primary Academy (admission number increasing from 45 to 60,
capacity increasing by 105); Coupals Primary Academy (admission number increasing from
30 to 60, capacity increasing by 210).
In Brandon: Forest Academy (admission number increasing from 45 to 60, capacity
increasing by 105).
Great Waldingfield CEVC Primary School (admission number increasing from 20 to 30,
capacity increasing by 70).
Beck Row Primary School (admission number increasing from 30 to 60, capacity increasing
The following additional capacity has been made available in terms children and
young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities for the 2018-2018 and
2018-2019 school years:
In September 2017, The Everitt Academy opened providing 50 new special education places.
In September 2018 there will be an additional 26 places created at four special schools
– 8 at Hillside Special School, 11 at Priory School, 3 at Riverwalk School and 4 at Thomas
Wolsey School. There will also be 13 additional places at Specialist Support Centres – 6 at
Causton Junior School and 7 at Gorseland Primary School.
Also in September 2018, an additional 60 places are being created in Alternative Provision
across the county. 20 in schools operated by The Raedwald Trust in Ipswich, 18 in Lowestoft
at The Attic and The Landing, 3 at Hampden House in Sudbury and 15 across the sites
operated by Olive AP Academy. From January 2019 Olive Academy will be adding a further
In September 2019 a new Sixth Form college (Abbeygate) opened in Bury St Edmunds in the
West Suffolk College and will move into new buildings in September 2020 when the 6 th form
at King Edward VI Upper School closes.
The Board ensures that solutions align with the Council’s admissions and travel policies.
The SMOTs provides a suitable platform for issues surrounding school travel to form part of
Transport Strategy, Admissions, and Transport meet routinely to ensure safe and sustainable
journeys are considered and planned in terms of sustainability. All within the context of
Independent Travel Training
SCC has refreshed its Independent Travel Training arrangements with the procurement of a new
5-year contract with Essex County Council that started in May 2019. 118 students were successfully
trained in 2018-19. This service is now well embedded offering a life changing opportunity for
young people with learning difficulties.
Information about how to access training can be found on Suffolk on Board - travel training:
Suffolk’s Local Offer
Suffolk’s Local Offer now includes an easy to find dedicated section on Transport and Travel
arrangements for those with special educational needs and/or disabilities. In this section, we
help families to be aware of what is available and how we are committed to supporting
individual needs, so that at the right time, young people with SEND, can become self-reliant
travellers. We also ask for feedback on services provided and will use this, as we develop
our joint commissioning arrangements for school travel in the future.
With Suffolk Strategy for Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and
Disabilities 2017-2020 it is important combined with personalisation and meeting the
outcomes of children and young people, to understand the changing pattern of provision.
Suffolk’s SEND Sufficiency Plan
Use the following link Suffolk SEND Sufficiency Plan to access information on the Suffolk’s
SEND Sufficiency Plan consultation. This forms part of the SEND Strategy and following a
Policy Development Panel that reported in January 2019 and a Cabinet report in April 2019
work has started on a major infrastructure programme to improve facilities for students with
Cabinet agreed in April 2019 that between 2020 and 2025, the following provision would be
• 11 new Reception/KS1 specialist units for early intervention and assessment
• 1 new hearing-impaired resource base for secondary pupils in the Lowestoft and East
• 7 new primary specialist units for communication and interaction
• 7 new primary specialist units for learning and cognition
• 5 new secondary specialist units for communication and interaction
• 5 new secondary specialist units for learning and cognition
• 1 complex SEMH needs school in the Bury St Edmunds area
• 2 complex communication and interaction needs schools, one in the Ipswich area and one
in the Lowestoft area
• 1 highly specialist school with residential facilities for pupils with very complex needs
relating to a combination of autism and SEMH
• Rationalisation of PRU provision in the Lowestoft area.
Deliverables for September 2020
• 10 School based units (174 places)
• 35 additional places in existing Specialist Support Units
Annual SEND Survey 2017
As part of the annual SEND survey in Suffolk, young people with SEND (those in the 6th form
or on a foundation course at college) took part in a workshop on 15 November 2017, which
explored travel. Features from this workshop in relation to travel highlighted:
• Families including grandparents assist young people with SEND to practice the
acquisition of their independent travel training skills.
• Those who travelled independently using their new travel skills, were confident in making
an inter-change between bus routes to get to college; through the ITT the young person
will not be signed off until all aspects of the journey have been successfully achieved
including inter-changes and suggested places to cross roads along the whole walking
route required to and from the destination.
• That most students taking part in the workshop were travelling with other students, to
access their place of learning, where they travelled on vehicles.
To further understand the behaviours and patterns of travel for young people with SEND, the
annual SEND survey specifically asked questions about “how do you currently travel to
school or college, which method would you prefer to travel to school/college and how long
does it take you to get to school/college?”.
The feedback is insightful into the travel preferences of young people with SEND and assists
in continuing to promote the concept of independence. In terms of the third question, this will
be used as a benchmark in terms of Suffolk’s Sufficiency Plan.
Chapter 5 Audit of Sustainable Travel
Suffolk’s Local Transport Plan 2011-2031 has accessibility integrated into it.
Given the urban/rural demographics in Suffolk, the following maps have been produced to
show distance from provision, at each of the phases of education and learning: primary,
secondary, and Post-16. Distances are measured according to walking route.
For Post-16, in addition to the Accessibility map, the following shows the demographic
changes for this age range, the distribution by district council area of travel to learn distances
from home address postcodes to Post-16 destinations in October 2015.
Secondary Phase Map
Analysis of School Census as at January 2011, in terms of sustainable modes of
travel, gives the following baseline information for Suffolk:
67.2% of primary school children travelled to school sustainably. 60.7% walked or cycled,
3.2% travelled on a school or public bus and 3.2% by car share. Of those attending an urban
primary school, 74.1% travelled sustainably (71% walked or cycled, 0.8% by bus and 2.2%
car share). At rural primaries, 55.4% travelled sustainably (43.2% walked or cycled, 7.3% by
bus and 4.9% car share).
88.2% of secondary school children travelled to school sustainably. 56.2% walked or cycled,
30.6% travelled on a school or public bus and 1.4% by car share. Of those attending an
urban secondary school, 91.5% travelled sustainably (79.7% walked or cycled, 10.5% by bus
and 1.3% car share). At rural secondaries, 84.7% travelled sustainably (31.7% walked or
cycled, 51.6% by bus and 1.4% car share).
The table below shows the numbers eligible for funded travel provided by Suffolk County
Council, in 2017-18 and 2018-19:
Number of children
eligible by school
5-16 year olds including Post 16 11,058 10,605
5 -16 year olds Special educational
needs and or disabilities (SEND).
Endeavour Cards issued and active
Post-16 Spare Seats purchased:
2017 -18: 45
Suffolk’s LTP 2011-2036 refreshed version is due in 2020 with a strategic focus to support
growth. The current version, of Suffolk’s LTP runs to 2031, is published by district level, and
includes an audit of transport issues in different parts of Suffolk. This includes in terms of
access to schools and colleges.
You can find more information at Transport strategy and plans
Rights of Way
The county council’s Rights of Way (PRoW) Improvement Plan Suffolk Green Access
Strategy (www.suffolkpublicrightsofway.org.uk) for 2020 -2030 sets out its priorities for
managing the access network, and recognises the importance of promoting PRoW as a
means of accessing schools. One of the priorities is to “Support the development of safe
routes to schools using PRoW to increase cycling and walking for students and their
parents”. When the public were consulted on replacing the improvement plan, over 80% of
users and 66% of non-users of public rights of way considered making it easier and safer to
walk or cycle to school very important.
The county council is responsible for maintaining public PRoW, and these can often give
alternative walking and cycling routes to school which are safer, healthier and greener ways
of travelling. The county council will endeavour to ensure PRoW giving access to schools are
maintained to a reasonable standard.
Most PRoW are either footpaths, for pedestrians only, or bridleways which can be used by
cyclists as well as pedestrians. Issues with Rights of Way can be reported online at Report a
Public Rights of Way issue
When there is no public transport available to locally, the Connecting Communities service
may be able to connect residents to an appropriate bus route or train link for onward travel so
they can reach their destination quickly and easily. For journeys where connecting to other
services is inappropriate, end to end journeys may be possible.
The Connecting Communities service is charged like a bus fare and students can use an
Endeavour card. Contact your local area operator up to a week before wishing to travel and
they will be able to answer any questions. For details of your local operator and to book
online go to ‘My area’ section at www.communities.suffolkonboard.com/my-area/
Enquiries can be emailed to email@example.com
In summer 2016, we commissioned a young person’s insight into our new Connecting
Communities Transport Services offered across Suffolk that concluded:
• Overall, the practical side of the service is one which could be used by young people;
• There are ways which could improve the experience for young people – marketing,
image, perspectives and booking.
Fundamentally, is there the demand from young people for this kind of service was a
question presented in the conclusion, on the basis that ‘Many young people who grow up in
rural areas either drive or have parents or friends who will drive them to where they need to
be. It may be such that whilst there is some demand from certain individuals who may not
be able to drive or be driven, the number of these is unknown and may in fact be far fewer
The final observation is that “of concern for the current users of the service. When surveyed,
the most frequent comment was that the service was ‘essential’ and allowed many of
the passengers to retain their ‘independence’. . . . . . . ‘Considering this, it is an essential
requirement that any changes made to suit the needs of younger people, are not done so
at the expense of the quality and frequency of service offered to the current elderly and
Bikeability is “Cycling Proficiency for the 21st Century”, and the Road Safety Team coordinate
the annual delivery of the course to approximately 4000 young riders annually.
Delivered to 10 and 11 year olds, the course is 8 hours long and includes 6 hours of riding on
the public highway. The aim is to give the trainees skills that would be required for them to
complete short on-road journeys; the school commute, a trip to the shops.
It is the first opportunity for children to receive training that shows them how to use the road,
rather than how to cross it, and it requires the trainees to be part of traffic, to use positive and
visible road positions, to observe, predict and plan, and to respect other road users. These
are the same skills that will be required as the young cyclists become drivers or motorcycle
The Road Safety Team deliver Bikeability thanks to a grant from Bikeability, support from
Sports Partnerships, and also a small contribution from the schools that take the training. It is
delivered by a combination of SCC/Suffolk Highways employees and local cyclist training
companies. More information can be found at https://suffolkroadsafe.com/roadusers/cyclists-and-horse-riders/young-cyclists-bikeability
School Crossing Patrol Service
There are 56 patrol sites through Suffolk serving their local community/academy primary
schools. At the last estimate, the patrols crossed 8500 children per school day in the county.
School Crossing Patrol Officers are employed to help provide a safer route for pupils
travelling to and from school. By providing this service the County are assisting in
encouraging sustainable travel and healthy living options.
To stop traffic a Patrol Officer must wear a high visibility coat and hat and display the patrol
order STOP sign.
A School Crossing Patrol Officer can stop traffic to cross any pedestrian at their designated
The Highway Code regulation 210 specifically states that traffic MUST stop when the School
Crossing Patrol Officer displays the patrol order STOP sign.
Note: a pupil’s journey to and from school is a parental responsibility even when a Patrol
point is in operation.
Parents could consider investigating options with moped hire companies such as:
https://www.scoots-hire.com/ https://www.kickstartmopeds.org.uk/. It is parental responsibility
to consider the suitability of these companies and their young person’s
National and Legal Picture
The published definition of sustainable modes of travel, outlined in the Education &
Inspections Act 2006, is “those that may improve the physical well-being of the individuals
who use them, the environmental well-being of all or part of the local authority’s area, or a
combination of the two”.
This Act places a requirement on all local authorities to promote the use of sustainable
travel and travel arrangements to schools and colleges of further education.
Already in Suffolk, there is a strong local landscape in terms of:
• The Local Transport Plan (LTP) for Suffolk
• Suffolk’s Cycling Strategy
• Suffolk Roadsafe Partnership and Strategy
You can find these on the Suffolk County Council website: Our plans and priorities
Strategy Development Process
The Department for Education (DfE) has published guidance for local authorities in terms of
expectations for the Sustainable Modes of Travel Strategy. It states there are four main
elements of the duty:
• An assessment of the travel and transport needs of children and young people
• An audit of the sustainable travel and transport infrastructure that may be used when
travelling to, from and between educational institutions
• A strategy to develop the sustainable travel and transport infrastructure within
Suffolk County Council so that the travel and transport needs of children and young people
are increasingly delivered through working with partners and local communities
• The promotion of sustainable travel and transport modes on the journey to, from and
between schools and other educational institutions.
National legislation and/or statutory guidance updates include:
• Children & Families Act 2014
• Department for Education Post-16 transport to education and training – statutory guidance
for local authorities October 2017
• Local Government Ombudsman ‘All on board? Navigating school transport issues: Focus
Report: learning lessons from complaints. Published March 2017.
• Department for Education Home to school travel and transport guidance – statutory
guidance for local authorities July 2014 – this has a focus on achieving efficiency. Updated
guidance was issued in draft for consultation in July 2019
The main changes from the Home to School Travel and Transport Guidance 2014 are:
• revised drafting and structure, and the inclusion of examples, to aid the reader’s
• new guidance on putting in place local school transport policies, including a checklist in
annex 1 additional guidance on the provision of home to school transport for children with
special educational needs
• new guidance on the suitability of travel arrangements for children with medical needs
(see paragraphs 71 and 72).
• Department for Education SEND Code of Practice September 2014 – focusing on the
delivery of outcomes for children and young people with SEND, introducing
personalisation and improving the joint commissioning arrangements, whilst working in
an integrated way across Health, Education, and Social Care.
• Department for Transport (DfT) Cycling and Walking Strategy – This sets out
objectives to 2020, which includes increasing the percentage of children who usually
walk to school. The aims and targets state “we will increase the percentage of children
aged 5-10 who usually walk to school from 49% in 2014 to 55% in 2025.
• Raising the Participation Age (RPA) – Since September 2015, all young people are
required to continue in education or training until their 18th birthday. Young people will
need to continue to study or train in one of several ways:
1. study full-time in a school, college or with a training provider
2. full-time work or volunteering combined with part-time education or training
3. an apprenticeship or traineeship (www.apprenticeships.org.uk)
• Bus Services Act 2017 – This Act offers benefits in the short term for student travel
mostly around improved data availability in the form of fares information. This will allow
all travellers and in particular parents making choices of school to be aware of transport
costs and permit informed choices. SCC recognises that in the longer-term home to
school transport will be dependent on a healthy bus market with the capacity to
accommodate new capacity demands in the home to school market
• Rurality and Access – Lack of adequate access to transport for young people in rural
areas is a serious issue. Government statistics show that 28% of the lowest income
households and 11% of overall households in rural areas do not have access to a car;
and 53% of low income households and 42% of overall households in rural areas only
have access to one car, meaning that many young people will have no access to a car.
This does not factor in those who are unable to drive at all. This becomes more of an
issue when paired with the fact that only 49% of rural and isolated dwellings have access
to a regular bus or transport service. Furthermore, it has been found that only 14% of
essential services on average are accessible via public transport to people in rural areas,
with it dropping as low as 8% for those in more remote locations [Department for the
Environment & Rural Affairs, 2016].
Suffolk Context and Strategies Context
Approximately 93,000 children aged 4-16 are educated in Suffolk within 320 schools, and in
addition a further 14,700 students of sixth form age educated in school sixth forms and
colleges of further education. These figures include the 13,000 children and young people
who have special educational needs and/or disabilities and their sustainable modes of travel
are also a component of the principles and priorities outlined in this strategy. In addition,
there are 7,360 children aged 4 to 19 in independent schools (including specialist
independents) in Suffolk aged 4-19.
Suffolk’s total resident population is almost 758,600 [ONS, 2018]; approximately one third live
in the three main towns of Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, and Lowestoft, a third in the market
towns and a third within the rural areas.
ONS 2018 estimates by District shows the following distribution of population:
Forest Heath 65,400
Mid Suffolk 102,500
St Edmundsbury 113,500
Suffolk Coastal 129,900
Although there are pockets of deprivation, the county is generally described as Wealthy
Achievers (38.52%) and Comfortably Off (31.37%), Moderate Means (12.21%) and Hard pressed
(12.54%) [Acorn, 2013]. The rural nature of Suffolk is best described in terms of context by the
2011 Rural Urban Classification which shows 39.7% of the population of Suffolk lives in
predominantly rural areas. This compares with 20.9% for England. Despite the overall
affluence there are areas in Suffolk of significant deprivation.
In terms of car and van ownership the profile in Suffolk shows the number of households with
two cars and/or vans stands at 29.2%, compared with 24.7% nationally [ONS, 2011], and with
the remainder of the profile broadly similar with national levels, with the exception of
households with no car or van, which is less than the national figure:
Proportion of households with
car(s) and/or van(s):
Proportion of households with no
car or van
With 1 vehicle 43.5% 42.2%
With 2 vehicles 29.2% 24.7%
With 3 vehicles 6.8% 5.5%
With 4 vehicles 2.6% 1.9%
The latest ONS projections (2016 based, published May 2018), show that by 2036 Suffolk’s
population is expected to grow by 8.1% above the 2017 figures. Suffolk’s population is also
ageing, with forecasts estimating that almost 250,000 people over the age of 65 will be living in
the county by 2036. That will be nearly one third of the total population. The forecast growth of
the population indicates that significant growth in the economy, in jobs and housing will be
needed in the future.
The number of homes to be delivered through local plans to 2036 (2031 for West Suffolk
authorities) is 36,171. The East of England Forecasting Model indicates that the total
number of jobs within Suffolk will increase by 31,500 between 2017 and 2036. Growth in
employment and housing on this scale will result in significant impacts on travel and will
require supporting investment in infrastructure and services.
Suffolk’s Health & Wellbeing Strategy 2019-22 sets the long-term strategic framework for
improving health and wellbeing in Suffolk. We lead, with our partners, to deliver outcome one
for the Suffolk Health and Wellbeing Board “giving every child in Suffolk, the best start in life”.
This sets out our priorities for the next three years. Further information can be found at
The NHS Sustainability & Transformation Plans includes two key Suffolk County Council
programmes – Making Every Intervention Count and Raising the Bar. It sets the principles,
actions and enablers that will deliver efficiency and better outcomes for families in Suffolk.
Area Reviews – The Norfolk and Suffolk Post 16 Area Review concluded in March 2017. The
outcomes from the Post-16 Area Review were published summer 2017. The Local Authority is
expected to retain our focus on driving changes and assessing how implementation of
recommendations is contributing to local economic performance.
A key discussion point throughout the Area Review process was Post 16 Travel. It was widely
recognised that travel to learn distances across Norfolk and Suffolk are higher than the
national averages due to the rural landscape of the region.
Following the final report, New Anglia LEP, Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils and the
colleges will continue to plan and publicise travel arrangements that will support the
development and delivery of curriculum in priority areas.
Suffolk County Council’s Strategy for Children and Young People with Special
Educational Needs and Disabilities
The SEND Sufficiency Plan (see p23 above) sets out how Suffolk County Council and the
Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in Suffolk will develop future services for children
and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to ensure that we
have enough provision to meet future need. The Sufficiency Plan is part of the much larger
SEND Strategy 2017-2020 that has been developed by stakeholders across Suffolk. This
work is being led by a steering group of partners from education, health, care and
Once it is complete the Sufficiency Plan will cover specialist service development for
education, health and care, however, this work is progressing to different timescales, so at
this stage the draft sections of the plan that form the current consultation focus on education.
The development of this part of the plan has been led by Suffolk County Council, Inclusion
Service, working alongside our partners.
For more information please visit
Suffolk’s Annual Public Health Report, 2013 “Moving Forward?” – Sets out the benefits
for improving children’s wellbeing and the quality of the local environment through
sustainable travel strategies.
Local Transport Plan 2011-2031 – Extract in terms of Transport and Skills – The
economy and skills are interlinked. Skills are also a driver of the economy. People with higher
skills levels achieve more at work; they’re more committed, more innovative, more
productive, and more confident about taking risks and growing businesses. A key issue for
developing skills in Suffolk is getting access to education and learning, whether this is at an
institution such as school or college, or work-based learning such as an apprenticeship.
For young people, transport enables them to have greater choice about where to learn and
which subjects they would like to study. This group of people are much less likely to be
able to afford their own transport than the general population and so rely heavily on public
transport. Similarly, for work-based learning, a difficulty in placing people is often related
to transport. The group of people who are not in education, employment or training are
also generally the group that find it hardest to travel, making transport critical in
accessing learning and employment.
Demand responsive transport services, which form a key part of our public transport plans
for rural areas, will go some way to alleviating some of these issues, but may still not be
practicable for all, so other community-based solutions need to be considered.
Summary of Suffolk’s key strategic plans and relevance to SMOT – The Suffolk Local
Transport Plan is separate to the SMOT Strategy Update. Both support the county council’s
Plans and Priorities for 2017-2021. The priorities are as follows:
• Inclusive growth
• Health, care and wellbeing
• Efficient and effective public services.
The key ambition is to support the local economy, attract world class businesses, and support
and develop the local workforce, in the context of a shift towards a low carbon economy.
This will help residents to achieve a high quality of life and create stronger and more selfreliant
communities. While improving the local economy we also want to help make Suffolk a
healthier, safer place to live and work; improve the level of educational attainment; and
reduce the impact of harmful emissions. Working towards these priorities will place the
county into a stronger position to capitalise on future opportunities for sustainable economic
School Travel Plans and the future – Schools are expected to be self-sustaining in reviewing
and updating their travel plans. A small number of schools take part in the Sustainable Travel
and Road Safety (STARs) programme which awards and recognises their commitment
through a three-level award system (Bronze, Silver and Gold). There is no dedicated
resource to deliver this, although it is a low-cost activity that provides accurate monitoring
and evaluation of school travel plan initiatives.
Schools may also be required to update and review their travel plans in relation to planning
applications, especially when a school is expanding, and consideration must be given to the
travel needs of the additional pupils and staff. The SMOT duty extends to colleges of further
education also. See the Modeshift STARs guide in Suffolk on page 45.
Infrastructure Refresh – School Travel and Rights of Way Access continue to do local research
into looking at the cost benefit analysis of providing infrastructure improvements to routes to
school and college. On a local basis, where routes become available to walk, accompanied as
necessary by a responsible adult, families would have the opportunity to develop their own
active local walking and cycling initiatives as their journey to and from their place of learning.
Where routes are assessed as available to walk, notice periods are given to families and
schools, so there is the scope to develop and update local school travel plans with new
local travel initiatives.
School Travel Policy 2018 – Suffolk’s School current Travel Policy for statutory age pupils
(aged 5 to 16) covers both the statutory requirements as required by the Education Act 1996
(incorporating the Education Act 1944) and the discretionary elements. In Suffolk, the
inclusion of Transport Priority Areas is a discretionary element of the policy; details of which
can be found at www.suffolkonboard.com/home-to-school-transport/.
School Travel Policy 2019 - Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet reached a decision on 19
June 2018, to introduce this new policy statement Home to School Travel Policy 2019-2020
on a phased basis with effect from September 2019, for children as they join or move
schools, age and distance criteria apply.
This policy statement also explains the new arrangements, which are applicable from
September 2019 including:
• Opt-into travel, where parents ask us to assess their eligibility. We would only allocate a
seat to an eligible learner if the parent requests this by applying to SCC
• Ask all parents to tell us annually that they would require a seat, where eligible (including
children who are currently receiving SCC funded school transport)
• Use Public Rights of Way when measuring the distance from home to school for
• Capacity building support is available to schools and communities through Suffolk
Brokerage provided by the Suffolk Passenger Transport Unit, so families can plan their
own travel arrangements. This can:
Signpost parents to commercial operators when parents wish to buy a seat for their
child to travel and/or
Where any spare seats exist on closed contracts running to schools, sell these on
a first come first serve basis
Advise families in planning their children’s travel arrangements
• In the Bury St Edmunds area, where there are both 2-tier and 3-tier schools, in addition
to providing SCC funded school transport to the nearest suitable school, SCC funded
school transport will also be provided to the nearest two-tier school (even if it is not the
nearest suitable school) if it is located more than the statutory walking distance from their
• Where one of the St Benedict’s Catholic School sites in Bury St Edmunds is the nearest
suitable school to the child’s home, SCC funded school transport will be provided for the
whole secondary phase up to age 16 to St Benedict’s Catholic School providing the child
lives more than three miles from the site which they are attending at the time. SCC
funded transport would also be offered to the next nearest two-tier secondary school
provided that the child lives more than three miles from this school.
Additionally, the Spare Seats Scheme – which is about the sale of any spare seats where
these exist on closed routes run to schools by Suffolk County Council is another discretionary
element. The spare seats are allocated, based on the published priorities and criteria found
within the relevant policies. These seats whilst providing a sustainable way of travelling,
cannot be guaranteed, as if a pupil with an eligibility requires the seat, the spare seat can be
withdrawn at short notice at any time.
Where a public route exists, SCC will either buy a seat for an eligible child, or signpost
families to these public routes as a means of sustainable travel.
A copy of the policy can be found at School travel policy
The School Travel Policy for 2020 will be published on SuffolkonBoard in February 2020
Demographic Research – Recent analysis shows that in Suffolk the Education & Inspections
Act 2006 criteria for those families on low income, intended by central government to improve
opportunities for children from low income families, to attend schools of preference, further
away from home and has had only limited impact in Suffolk.
Our research shows that for some areas in deprivation, especially rural areas, there is only
one local school for rural children, and therefore the intentions of the statutory low income
duties do not come into the equation. Twenty-six per cent (26%) of children would not get any
extra travel eligibility to secondary school under low income as they do not have a second
school within six miles.
The recently published Indices of Deprivation shows that Suffolk has low levels of
deprivation, but that there are two district/borough areas where there is significant
deprivation, namely Waveney and Ipswich.
For these two areas, most children can access a range of schools within the statutory
walking distances. Waveney includes Lowestoft where most of the deprivation is identified,
and again schools are available within the walking distances. However, school places are
particularly limited in some Ipswich and Lowestoft primary schools.
Roll out of Universal Credit: Eligibility for free school meals is currently the primary means
of determining eligibility for extended rights to home to school travel as highlighted above
and will continue to be so.
Following the commencement nationally of the Universal Credit roll out from 1 April 2018,
those eligible children will have transitional protection rights to free school meals until March
2023, when the roll out is due to conclude. This means that more children will be eligible for
free school meals and therefore likely that more children will be eligible for extended rights
transport as a result. Note: The Department for Education is currently considering the
implications of this to local authorities and further guidance has yet to be issued.
Hidden Needs – Hidden Needs in Suffolk Five Years On (2011-2016) – This highlights
that “Participation rates in higher education are greater in rural areas than in urban areas,
averaging 40 per cent in rural wards compared with 31 per cent in urban ones.” It illustrates
neighbourhoods where over half of young people go to university – this includes, for
example, parts of Ipswich and areas north and east of Ipswich from Denbenham to Nacton;
neighbourhoods around Leavenheath in Babergh; and parts of Bury St Edmunds, Thurston
and around Lidgate and Depden in the west of St Edmundsbury. It also highlights
neighbourhoods where less than a quarter progress on to higher education – these include,
for example, areas in and around many of the urban hubs – Mildenhall, Brandon, Haverhill,
Sudbury, Ipswich, Felixstowe, Halesworth and Lowestoft. They also include more rural
neighbourhoods such as around Broome in Mid Suffolk, around Wrentham in Waverney and
Tuddenham in Forest Heath.
In terms of young people who are ‘NEET’ (Not in Education, Employment or Training), the
report states that they “are at extreme risk of disadvantage as they enter adulthood”.
Compared to averages for England and our statistical neighbours, Suffolk has a higher
proportion of young people aged 16-18 who are NEET. Over the past 5 years Suffolk has
been closing the gap between our performance and that of our statistical neighbours and
England overall, however we remain behind England’s performance by approximately 1. 2%
and have not seen a significant reduction in the volume of young people NEET during this
16-18 NEET Performance %
Suffolk 3. 9%
Statistical Neighbours 3.0%
Post-16 Travel Policy – In the Autumn of 2013 a Policy Development Panel, which included
county councillors, head teachers and local authority officers, considered options to reduce
the cost of home to school travel. The final option was consulted on and we introduced a new
Post-16 Travel Policy in 2014. The design sought to offer subsidised access to a choice of
either nearest sixth form education or Post-16 centre where the distance is more than three
miles from the home address. Charges towards the cost of this subsidised travel are
published, with half-termly payment options available. Currently the Post-16 Travel policy is
in contrast with the statutory age home to School Travel Policy which provides discretionary
eligibility based on Transport Priority Areas as well as to nearest over the statutory walking
Post-16 Policy - You said, we did – Following the third year of implementing the Post-16
policy statement in September 2017, a consultation took place between 15 January 2018 and
1 March 2018 on the clarity of the Post-16 Policy Statement for September 2018. This
consultation ran separately to the wider consultation on the policy proposals for 2019, for
school and post-16 travel policies.
On the basis that our analysis shows that in 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 around 70% of
mainstream students who were eligible under the Post-16 Policy were issued with a public
bus or train ticket, we continue to encourage families and young people to plan their journeys
early and to only apply to Suffolk County Council if that proves to be the best value solution
by 31 May 2018.
Each year the Council asks governing bodies of schools with sixth forms and FE colleges, to
share information about routes they plan to run for their Post-16 students. This is on the
basis that the Post-16 Policy Statement is intended as a central reference point for travel
Following feedback from stakeholders, there has been engagement with the two commercial
bus suppliers who did not accept the Endeavour Card. With effect from February 2018
Mulleys Motorways Ltd has agreed to join the Endeavour Card scheme which when
implemented will give a minimum of 25% discount off an adult day ticket for students aged 16
to the day before their twentieth birthday on bus routes running across Suffolk.
Greater Anglia wish to promote their student scheme in Suffolk, whereby discounts can be
negotiated and agreed with schools/colleges subject to certain criteria being met. 16-18 years
olds in full time education can receive up to 50% discount off adult fares on season tickets
valid for a complete term or academic year.
At a DfE Workshop in March 2018, local authorities received a presentation which highlighted
the scope of post-16 providers using the bursary fund to subsidise individual school/college
transport schemes, subject to gaining their own legal advice.
Best practice recommends we publish the average costs of travel for:
• Mainstream students
• Students with SEND
The average actual annual cost to Suffolk County Council of travel arrangements as
at 2018/2019, is £1,027 per child or young person.
For those learners with SEND the average actual annual cost to Suffolk County Council
as at 2017/2018 is £6,164 per child or young person.
For Post 16 Travel, this means the Council on average subsidises each seat by £277 per
annum and for those learners with SEND, the average level of subsidy per individual is
£5,474 per annum.
Publishing these average costs, promotes transparency in terms of costs of commissioning
transport for children and young people in Suffolk. It also helps highlight the value of parents
and students checking out local bus services as in some cases use of the Endeavour card and
10 trip tickets can work out cheaper than a £750 per annum bus pass.
On Suffolk on Board - we publish other offers to families, to support sustainable travel
• The offer of the Endeavour Card, to assist children and young people getting a minimum
of 25% off the cost of a day ticket when travelling on public buses across Suffolk. All
commercial bus suppliers accept the Endeavour Card apart from Beestons and
• Getting Ready for September 2019 – is a list of routes run by individual secondary
schools and colleges in different parts of Suffolk. This list is designed to help student’s
access sustainable travel options when accessing Post-16 provision, which may not be
their nearest provision.
Road safety themes in Suffolk are taken from the 2018 analysis:
• Overall in 2018, fatal and seriously injured casualties in Suffolk continue to mirror the
national trend of ‘flatlining’ since 2012, where previously the progress in reduction of
casualties was more substantial.
• There has been a 6% reduction in casualties from 2017 to 2018, almost 50% fewer
fatalities but a slight increase in serious casualties. The significant reduction in fatalities is
likely to be an anomaly, 2019 figures (by October) are in line with previous years.
• Casualty rates per billion vehicle miles travelled have reduced year on year since the
2010-14 average by 29%. This trend is seen is other authorities in the East of England,
with Luton being the exception, nationally the reduction is 22%.
• The reductions in the number of cyclists and motor cyclists, pedestrian casualties, whilst
lower than previous years, maintain an overall flat trend. Older road users display a slight
upward trend, which while very minimal is likely to reflect the increase in the older
population in the county going forward.
For more information, download the Suffolk Road Casualty Report 2018 PDF, (1.8MB).
The last significant study of resident child casualty rates in 2014 revealed that the
county was well below the national average in every district of Suffolk except Waveney,
and resident child casualties had dropped significantly over the county as a whole in the
previous 5 years. However, high localised child casualty rates were apparent in the
Lowestoft and Beccles areas, and analysis has shown that children in the county’s most
deprived communities were at disproportionately high risk.
Suffolk County Council’s Road Safety Team currently promotes the Junior Road Safety
Officer scheme and is working with 10-11 year olds to assist in educating younger
pupils. The team also provides Bikeability training for over 4000 children aged 10-
11. The team encourages parents and those responsible for very young children to
supervise them at all times and encourages the safe fitting of child car seats.
In 2018 there were no child fatalities and figures for seriously injured road casualties for
children 0-15 years old were lower than 2017at 134 children injured. Trends in child
casualties are monitored by the Road Safety Speed and Traffic Management Team to
better understand the reasons behind this trend and whether remedial actions are
For more information about trends in road accidents in Suffolk, download the Suffolk
Road Casualty Report 2018 PDF, (1.8MB).
For further information please contact: Road Safety, Speed and Traffic Team.
Case Study of the Albany Pupil Referral Unit
Personal Travel Budget Pilot Academic Year 2016-2017.
Promoting personal travel budgets (PTB) in one of our two pilots introduced to promote
greater choice and control and supporting the Preparing for Adulthood outcomes.
Through our co-production with a small group of families whose children have special
educational needs and/or disabilities, they told us that they believed families would value this
choice and control www.suffolklocaloffer.org.uk
Suffolk County Council (SCC) set a PTB target and with growing costs associated with taxi
provision for those with special educational needs and/or disabilities, in partnership with the
Headteacher at The Albany, a Pupil Referral Unit, based in Bury St Edmunds; it developed
the PTB further to include offering personal travel budgets direct to The Albany for them to
use on behalf of their students.
The PTBs were to be kept as simple as possible, so the following banding system was
adopted from the successful Kent County Council personal travel budget scheme. This
scheme has been in operation since the SE7 pathfinder phase of implementing the SEND
Under 5 miles: £2,000 annual personal travel budget
5-10 miles: £3,000 annual personal travel budget
Over 10 miles: £5,000 annual personal travel budget
Distances measured: single journey home to school, measured by straight line distance
In 2015/16 the average published cost for transport for a student with SEND was £5,184 in
Suffolk and in 2015/16 the average cost for transport for a student attending a PRU was
It is recognised that on an exceptional case by case basis, there may be a need to agree to a
higher-level personal travel budget. Parents and carers support this approach.
Professionals who work in Activities Unlimited, who have the skills to broker personal
budgets generally in Suffolk, contributed to the development of the pilot arrangements and
will offer broker arrangements for families.
Progress and Impact
The Albany Personal Travel Budget Pilot (November 2016)
The Albany is based in Bury St Edmunds and provides education for young people with
significant SEMH across west Suffolk, with students travelling from close to the Essex,
Cambridge and Norfolk borders and at times from as far east as Ipswich. It is a very rural
catchment with areas of significant rural deprivation. Most families whose children are at The
Albany have little or no access cars to support their child attending school. Many students,
attending The Albany, have not travelled much beyond their home town or village, except to
attend their local high school.
At the first monitoring meeting of the PTB at The Albany, the following were highlights:
• During late August, senior staff at The Albany worked tirelessly to ensure that all the new
travel arrangements were in place and familiar to students/parents for the beginning of
the academic year.
• Travel training with Albany staff supporting Year 10 students on their route had been
• For Year 11s, conversations had taken place over the summer with parents for them to
support their child with the change from taxi to public transport. Taxis had been used for
the first two weeks to enable smooth transition.
• A blended approach to travel was being used – some students with particular needs
remained with a taxi journey until they could be supported to access public transport –
others had a taxi from home to bus stop/train station to enable them to access public
• The Albany provided a morning pick up from bus/rail station, using their minibus and staff
and a coach service was used for the afternoon travel to bus/rail station.
• Behaviour on public transport was good, although there had been one problem reported
at MCT which had been easily resolved with a couple of conversations.
Some Parental Consent forms were outstanding. However, these now formed part of The
Albany Induction Pack.
The expectation at The Albany is for all students to use public transport to access their
education at The Albany as this supports their transition to post 16 learning. However, the
rural nature of the area means that public transport routes are not always possible.
Therefore, where they can, the Albany blends public transport with taxis to enable part of the
route to be independent travel. Students have responded well to this approach, enjoying the
responsibilities and flexibilities using public transport provides them.
As part of The Albany’s induction programme, and at the introduction of the pilot, all students
are assessed as to their suitability for using public transport. This included an assessment of
their academic and social needs and the accessibility of transport from their home address.
Parents and carers are fully involved in this process and all have supported the pilot.
The pilot will be extended down to the KS3 (currently Year 9) students who attend The Albany.
Of the 37 students on roll at The Albany, 4 live locally and do not qualify for transport, 2 are
currently taxied in (a Year 9 student and the Year 11 student mentioned above). The rest
access their education utilising public transport.
Initial findings are:
1. Most students taking part in the PTB live more than 10 miles from The Albany, and
therefore qualify for the highest level of personal travel budget of £5,000. There are also
several students, who qualify for the middle band of personal budget of £3,000, as they
live between 5 and 10 miles from the Albany.
2. Analysis of the students’ current attendance (as compared to their baseline attendance
on entry to The Albany, and compared to last year, where all students came to school in
taxis), shows that introducing the pilot has not impacted directly on student attendance.
However, there has been some impact on punctuality due to late running or cancelled
public transport. In a very small number of cases, students deliberately choosing to catch
a later bus or train.
3. An initial verbal evaluation of the scheme with students suggests that they enjoy the
freedom and flexibility they now have.
4. There were initial concerns that the weather may impact on attendance (i.e. very wet or
cold days would lead to a reduced attendance). There is no anecdotal evidence to
suggest this has been the case. It is hard to provide empirical evidence of this.
5. There have been very few incidents of antisocial behaviour, which had initially been a
significant concern given the nature of The Albany provision. The Albany has recently
added the expectations of behaviour in public spaces and the role of British Transport
Police into their PHSE curriculum to support the PTB pilot.
Overall, it had been a very positive start to the pilot with very rapid engagement from both
students and their parents. The extra independence gained by students had been beneficial.
There is confidence that young people as they plan for their Post-16 pathways will be able to
use their independent travel skills to engage in training and employment in the future.
References to DfE Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice 0-
25 years (January 2015) on Personal Budgets:
• An arrangement – whereby the local authority, school or college holds the funds and
commissions the support specified in the EHC plan (these are sometimes called notional
• Third party arrangements – where funds (direct payments) are paid to and managed by
an individual or organisation on behalf of the child’s parent or the young person
• A combination of the above.
Case Study – Co-production with Suffolk Parent Carer Network (SPCN)
Promote tips developed by Suffolk Parent Carer Network, for families whose young
people have SEND and are wanting to plan to learn to drive.
Suffolk Parent Network have an active audience of parents and family members who provide
feedback on services for those with SEND, and also make enquiries about hot topics.
One of the hot topics during summer 2018, is tips for families to consider when planning and
setting up driving lessons for their young people with SEND.
Through the Suffolk Parent Carer Network online forum, a vast range of tips and advice has
This case study will share these tips and outlines the benefits to young people with SEND, as
they prepare for their adulthood outcomes of living independent lives, being part of their local
community, taking part in training, learning and ultimately gaining employment.
School Travel Plan Accreditation Scheme [Modeshift STARS]
Suffolk County Council’s Travel Plan Team provides guidance and advice to schools to assist
with the development of a School Travel Plan. These have multiple aims, including decreasing
traffic levels around schools, improving pupils’ road safety, interlinking with Healthy Schools
status and Bikeability, and helping everyone get to and from school actively, more alert and
ready to learn.
To help develop a School Travel Plan, a new and free national accreditation scheme is now
available to use. Modeshift STARS has been established to recognise schools that have
demonstrated excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable travel.
Schools can register on the scheme for free and will be granted access to an online system,
guiding them through each element of a Travel Plan with user-friendly instructions.
Once registered on the system, there are three levels of accreditation that a school can
achieve, with plaques awarded for each on a yearly basis to display within the school:
For schools that demonstrate a commitment to
promoting sustainable transport by conducting an
annual survey, identifying travel issues and solutions
and delivering a range of travel initiatives.
For schools that achieve a reduction in car use on the
journey to school, identifying the sustainable modes
which most suit their needs and working towards
improving or implementing facilities to support these.
For schools that have excelled with promoting
sustainable travel and achieved a noticeable reduction
in car use on the journey to school by fully embracing
sustainable travel as the norm throughout the entire
Schools can apply for a Bronze accreditation, with the sign-off process for approval conducted
by SCC. Applications for Silver or Gold accreditations will need to be endorsed by SCC prior
to a quality assurance exercise carried out by Modeshift.
Accreditations will be given on a termly basis. Each school, when successful, will receive a
plaque for display to show their level of achievement.
Gold level schools will be put forward for the National STARS School Travel Awards. A national
awards panel made up of experts in the field will decide upon the Regional and National
Schools of the Year with the best schools in each region going forward to a national event with
money-can’t-buy prizes up for grabs.
A School Travel Plan is a relatively simple project which consists of three core sections:
1. A profile of the school, encompassing its size, location, pupil and staff population, and its
existing facilities. This will include simple surveys on the travel habits and preferences of
2. An analysis of the travel and transport issues affecting the school. A lot of this will become
apparent from the surveys, but further investigation through consulting staff, parents,
governors, other visitors to the school and the school council will add to the body of
3. Finally, based on the first two stages, an action plan should be devised, aimed at solving
any problems that have been outlined and meeting the demands and needs of all those
travelling to the school.
Once established, a School Travel Plan is a living document which can be adjusted and
tweaked as and when circumstances at your school change. Repeating the surveys at the
same time each year and collecting any new evidence enables you to measure progress and
reassess how even more opportunities can be provided.
Some of the opportunities provided by a working School Travel Plan includes:
• Healthier and more active, alert pupils
• Decrease in congestion around the school
• Greater awareness of safety issues
• Opportunities for Bikeability cycle training
• Complementing Healthy Schools applications and reviews
• Participation in competitions such as Sustrans’ Big Pedal
• Cleaner air in and around the school
• Pupils’ greater connection with their local environment.
Many schools will need to review and update their Travel Plan as part of a planning
application, Modeshift STARS is ideal for this purpose and will meet the requirements of the
As every school is different, each Travel Plan will be unique to the school it is created for.
Suffolk County Council has a range of resources to help schools including Road Safety
Education, Cycle Route maps and ideas about what has worked well in other schools.
To get started, you can either register your school on the Modeshift STARS website
(https://modeshiftstars.org) or contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org
School travel poster