Identifying Best Practice
Central government, local authorities, schools and parents all undertake transport initiatives of varying sizes, large and small, aimed at improving school travel. However, without the ability to reliably measure outcomes, stakeholders are often none the wiser as to how effective these initiatives really were and whether they should be pursued further.
HomeRun builds a live and dynamic data-set informed by real journeys, enabling the base-lining and continuous measurement of schools' commute footprints. Not only does this allow for proper cost-benefit assessments to take place when considering initiatives, it also enables the easy identification of areas and schools demonstrating good practice.
See the below example of how HomeRun identified the key reasons behind a school's high levels of cycling and how the local authority will take those lessons learnt into their future strategy:
NO. OF SCHOOLS
AVG. ACTIVE TRAVEL
% USERS CYCLING TO SCHOOL
Comparing the 7 Wiltshire schools above revealed that Salisbury St Joseph's had significantly higher levels of cycling. We further used our information set to identify the key reason why...
safe cycling routes
Despite all of the schools on the list having been granted public money to promote cycling, such as for bike racks and cycle training, only SJCS has a significant number of pupils cycling to school. The above map shows the cycling journeys being undertaken to school. This demonstrates that pupils have access to a number of safe cycling routes away from main roads, obstacles and traffic.
One size fits all solutions do not produce efficient outcomes. Understanding a school's unique commute footprint and what initiatives work well for that type of school is key to attaining effective outcomes. Focusing on impact over check-box ticking exercises ultimately benefits all parties.
Understanding the key criteria for desired outcomes can lead to enlightened planning and reduced waste. For example, spending on cycle racks and training is ineffective if there are a lack of safe cycle routes that parents will allow their children to use.
Being able to measure the medium and long term impact of initiatives enables local authorities and schools to better decide where their efforts and budget would be best spent in the future. The first step to improvement is measurement.
SJCS has more than double the percentage of their pupils cycling to school than the other 6 Wiltshire schools.
The safe cycling routes in Salisbury are the key factor in achieving higher adoption.