School Transport Planning Experience

School Transport Planning Experience

Mayer Brown Ltd (MBL) are a multidisciplinary consultancy providing Transport Planning, Transport Infrastructure Design and Environmental Assessment services for development projects across the UK. MBL have a wealth of experience supporting schools and education facilities from a highways and transportation perspective. This note provides a brief view of our experience. Further details on any individual topic can be provided at request – contact details are provided at the end of this note.

Among others, MBL have recently supported the following institutions with highways and transport planning advice:

  • Royal Holloway University
  • ACS Egham, Surrey
  • ACS Cobham, Surrey
  • ACS Hillingdon, London
  • Caterham School, Surrey
  • Gordon’s School, Surrey
  • Claremont Fan Court School, Surrey
  • Streatham and Clapham High School, London
  • Finton House School, London

Transport Assessments and Transport Statements

MBL have supported numerous schools seeking to expand their pupil roll, either alongside new building works, or accommodated within the existing school sites. The reports focus primarily on the traffic impact during drop-off and pick-up times, and the impact of staff (and sixth form) parking throughout the day.

Schools are unique developments to provide highways advice for, as the traffic associated with a school will be very focused around the pick-up and drop-off times, and it is typically impractical to try to spread these peak periods or encourage travel at different times. Hence traffic management and Travel Planning initiatives are key to successful outcomes. Furthermore, while schools are often able to make great steps towards encouraging non-car transport through bus services, cycle schemes, etc, enforcement and management can be challenging.

Our school Transport Assessments and Transport Statements are typically supported by transport surveys taken during the drop-off and pick-up times, as well as on-site observations taken during these times. Each school has a different method of accommodating these traffic peaks and it is important to understand the operation before any changes can be suggested.

Our reports detail:

  • Relevant transport planning policy
  • The local area and site accessibility
  • The development proposals and their traffic and parking impacts
  • A comparison with the school’s current travel operation
  • Agreed mitigation measures proposed to accommodate any increase in traffic
  • Junction modelling, where necessary

We have supported schools in redesigning their car park layouts, pick-up and drop-off operations, school bus routes, and cycle parking in order to accommodate changes to the school operation. MBL have also engaged with local authorities on behalf of schools and supported the schools during public exhibitions and meetings with stakeholders.

Travel Planning

Often the most important part of demonstrating that a school can increase its size in transport terms is demonstrating that the school will implement a successful Travel Plan in order to encourage modal shift away from private vehicle drop-offs and pick-ups.

Travel Plans will include measures such as:

  • School bus routes
  • Cycle parking and facilities changes
  • Cycle proficiency and safety training
  • Walk/cycle to school week
  • Walking bus routes
  • Encouraging active travel in classrooms (making posters, guest speakers, etc.)
  • Park and stride routes

Travel Plans are live documents that include a monitoring process over a number of years in order to record the change in travel patterns at the school. The monitoring surveys may take a number of different forms depending on the requirements of the school and of the local authority.

MBL have experience producing Travel Plans that accord with local highway authority requirements, as well as experience with the TfL STARS Travel Plan system.

Other Supporting Documents

To support the developments at Royal Holloway University, MBL were required to produce an extensive BREEAM environmental assessment. This work also required extensive modelling of the local highways network and the operation of the university car parks.

MBL have also supported schools through the production of Constructive Vehicle Management Plans (Claremont Fan Court School), designing new car park and access layouts (Caterham School, ACS Cobham), and producing feasibility reports for changes to the school transport operations.

MBL keep up-to-date on changes in transport planning practices, and have produced blog articles on the School Streets initiative and London’s Healthy Streets. Read our blog articles here.

New Educational Developments

As well as providing advice to existing educational facilities, MBL have supported the development of new nurseries and schools at the site allocation and planning application stages of development.

Providing advice for new developments can vary significantly depending on the context in which these facilities are coming forward. For example, MBL have supported the allocation to the Local Plan of a site in Edenbridge which may include a secondary school, alongside a quantum of housing. This process has involved providing advice on the expected level of trip generation, the new bus facilities required to accommodate the students, estimating the level of students for the new school who would be based within the new housing, among other projective work.

In another example, MBL supported a planning application for a new nursery converted from a former care home (which itself was a former large residential dwelling). This work was focused around the sufficient provision of cycle/scooter/buggy parking, and the parking impact of the nursery on the local residential streets.

Summary

While every school is unique, Mayer Brown’s extensive experience has seen us get involved in educational developments from nurseries to universities, and we have been able to provide quality advice that reflects the individual challenges associated with each school. Our breadth of knowledge and experience makes us an ideal candidate to provide transportation consultancy services at any educational development.

 

Contact:                   Paul Stocker

Email:                       pstocker@mayerbrown.co.uk

Phone:                      01483 750508

As a multidisciplinary consultancy, Mayer Brown Ltd are able to provide further services including air quality, noise, flood risk, and more. Please get in touch for more details.

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