Hands Up Scotland set to start early September

Sustrans begins largest ever cycle to school survey

Sustainable transport charity Sustrans’ second national Hands Up Scotland Survey is set to take place next month.

The poll, which is being organised with Scottish School Travel Coordinators will be the largest and most comprehensive survey of travel to school behaviour in Scotland and will provide vital information as to the effectiveness of bike to school campaigns.

The charity is urging schools to take part in the survey, which takes place between September 7th and 11th. It follows the first Hands Up report in May this year which found that more than half of all Scottish school pupils travel by walking, cycling or scooter – more than those using car, bus or taxi.

Sustrans promises that participation is simple and the results will be used to formulate policy and help determine which areas require investment.

"We are urging all of Scotland’s schools to take part in the second year of the Hands Up Scotland Survey," encouraged Sustrans’ Manager for School Travel in Scotland William Methven. "The information that we gain from the survey is invaluable in ensuring that both Sustrans and Local Authority School Travel Coordinators can continue to effectively tackle the school run by supporting young people to walk and cycle to school.

"The results from the first year of the Hands Up Scotland Survey were very encouraging. We were pleased to see that the work we are delivering in partnership with School Travel Coordinators having a positive impact on the way school children are travelling in Scotland. We now have a benchmark for all future work with schools, and the information collected this year will be incredibly useful in informing this.

"With childhood obesity, road safety issues and the impact of people’s travel choices on climate change at the top of the agenda, it’s crucial that we encourage and enable more young people to choose healthy, active and safe ways of travelling to school that also benefit the wider environment."

Chris Thompson, School Travel Coordinator at Moray Council, added: "We know that a lot of good things are happening around school travel at the moment, and pupils, parents and staff are achieving significant changes in travel behaviour. This national survey of school travel gives us the chance to underline that success with robust data and demonstrate not just the value of the work completed to date, but also point us towards future targets with greater certainty."

The Scottish Government has recently pledged to invest in cycling in the country, while Bike Hub has also dedicated funding to a scheme north of the border.

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