Proposals to create a new charitable trust designed to support improvements to the ways in which children travel in the city are set to be formally approved in September.
The Young Active Travel Charitable Trust will build on work already carried out by the council to make it safer, easier and more pleasant to walk or cycle to school.
To get things up and running, Birmingham City Council will provide an initial start-up endowment of £75,000 and it is anticipated this will be topped up by £25,000 of sponsorship from a household-name national company, with whom discussions are at an advanced stage.
Schools and groups of parents will be able to apply to the trust for grants (initially up to £1,000 per application) to support the development and introduction of school travel plans and related equipment such as fluorescent tabards for “walking buses”, children’s road safety training sessions, training for staff and parents, signage and publicity materials.
The council also aims to acknowledge that school crossing wardens can be an important element of some individual School Travel Plans – by planning to invest £750,000 annually in the service from 2017/18 onwards to ensure the ongoing provision of wardens at the highest priority sites.
Cllr John Clancy, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Ensuring that our children can travel in a safe and healthy way when out and about in Birmingham is of great importance to me.
“That’s why we are looking at how we can encourage parents, pupils and staff to adopt alternative ways of travelling to school to reduce car journeys, and improve not only their health but that of the wider community – with reduced road danger, and less air pollution and traffic congestion in local neighbourhoods.
“As a council we’ve done lots such as the work to introduce 20mph limits, traffic calming measures and the development of better cycling and walking routes but we know that there will be some very specific things needed to address local circumstances – the new trust will give citizens a way to unlock funding for measures other than physical highways improvements that make their areas better places in which to live.”
(Image: Ross Jukes)