The purpose of this research, carried out between 2008 and 2010, was to investigate the evidence for prioritising school travel initiatives, and to develop an evidence-based toolkit for the design of school travel systems, to supplement existing school travel initiatives.
There are tangible economic, safety, health and environmental reasons for giving greater priority to school travel initiatives, and a more coordinated approach to optimising school travel systems could be adopted. This would also help the government address its Government Policy Statement (GPS) theme of economic growth and productivity, although further work is needed to balance the impacts of school travel initiatives against other projects, such as state highway development, which might also have a positive impact on the wider transport system.
This report clearly demonstrates that a number of areas such as cycling to school, bus safety and access, road environments around schools, rural schools, and road safety education and training for young people need to be systematically addressed if New Zealand is to realise the benefits of an optimised school travel system.
The proposed school travel system toolkit is intended to supplement existing school travel planning processes, and includes a status diagram to help evaluate different parts of the school travel system and track improvements. The toolkit and status diagram are intended for school travel planners and other personnel who are involved in the provision of school travel systems or infrastructure.