The authority agreed at a cabinet meeting last week to consult on its sustainable modes of travel to school (Smots) strategy for six weeks, starting on Thursday (15 February).
This important document sets out how the council can support schools to promote healthier and more active travel and reduce congestion on local roads, improve air quality and road safety.
For many children, young people and their parents, travel to schools within Cheshire East is an essential aspect of daily life, with options including walking, scooting, cycling, public transport and car sharing. Walking and cycling are proven to be good for physical and mental health and the council wants to work with schools and parents to promote more physical activity to help create stronger, healthier and more vibrant communities.
Cheshire East is encouraging schools and colleges to have a travel plan – a document which sets out the measures and initiatives they will use to reduce car journeys and promote other ways of getting to school in safer, healthier and more environmentally-sustainable ways.
The sustainable modes of travel to school strategy was prepared following a review of school travel plans and found the following issues:
- Cars parking on both sides of the road outside the school, limiting visibility for pedestrians;
- Inappropriate vehicle speeds outside school and in the surrounding area;
- Limited footpaths on non-designated available walking routes to school; and
- Lack of suitable, secure cycle-parking spaces.
Frank Jordan, executive director of place at Cheshire East Council, said: “Our draft Smots strategy identifies current travel patterns and the barriers parents encounter when they want to travel in a more sustainable way. It proposes a range of mechanisms and support from the Council to help schools address these barriers.
“Before adopting the strategy, we are asking for comments and feedback to find out if schools and residents and our partners agree with the document’s aims and content.”
The consultation opens on 15 February and closes on 29 March. For more details and to complete the online survey, visit: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/consultations email: SMOTS@cheshireeast.gov.uk or ring 0300 123 5500.