Safe Routes to School

We are pleased to announce the launch of the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Programme, which is open to all schools in Ireland for active travel funding and delivery. The programme is an initiative of the Department of Transport and supported by the Department of Education. It will be operated by the Green-Schools Programme in partnership with the National Transport Authority (NTA) and the local authorities.

The Safe Routes to School Programme is designed to encourage as many pupils and students as possible in primary and post-primary schools to walk and cycle. It has three aims:

  1. To accelerate the delivery of walking/scooting and cycling infrastructure on key access routes to schools.
  2. To provide “front of school” treatments which will enhance access to your school grounds.
  3. To expand the amount of bike parking available at schools.

Please note: the closing date for Expressions of Interest is Friday, April 16 2021.

Download the Safe Routes to School Brochure (pdf)

Frequently Asked Questions

The Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programme has been developed in response to ongoing issues of safety and congestion at the school gate and on routes to school. The programme aims to support active travel to school (walking and cycling) by offering schools the opportunity to:

  • Improve safety at the school gate by providing ‘front of school’ treatments to alleviate congestion and improve access;
  • Improve access routes to school by improving walking and cycling infrastructure;
  • Increase the number of students who cycle to school by expanding the amount of cycle parking.

The programme is funded by the Department of Transport through the National Transport Authority. An Taisce Green-Schools will coordinate the programme and a dedicated Infrastructure Officer will work with schools during the process. Local authorities will play a key part in delivering the infrastructure along access routes and at the school gate. Funding will be made available to the local authorities for infrastructure related to the programme; in addition SRTS will also deliver cycle parking.

The Departments of Transport and Education will send every school principal a letter about the programme. The letter includes a link to an online ‘Expression of Interest’ (EOI) form – also available below – which can be completed by school principals or the appropriate member of staff interested in improving infrastructure in and around their school. The EOI form will be reviewed by SRTS which will then select schools for participation in the programme for 2021.

The programme is open to all schools and various criteria is used to select schools for participation in the programme for 2021, including:

  • Mix of school type – primary, post-primary, other;
  • Mix of location – urban (village, town, city), suburban, rural;
  • Socio-economic mix – non-DEIS, DEIS schools;
  • School’s commitment to sustainable travel – (a) the school is interested in promoting walking and cycling to school or (b) has already demonstrated a commitment to walking, cycling and other active modes by running initiatives such as: Walk on Wednesday, Scoot on Wednesday, Cycle on Wednesday, Cycle Bus, Park ‘n’ Stride etc.; and
  • Cluster of schools – if schools are located on the same campus or street/section of road.

SRTS will then develop a list of schools, and a suggested sequencing or grouping of schools in sequence. This is because all schools cannot be progressed simultaneously and a programme of implementation will need to be developed. Schools selected may be suitable for one or more of the infrastructure elements (front of school/cycle parking or upgrade walking/cycling routes).

SRTS will have a dedicated Infrastructure Officer who will work with selected schools during the programme. The programme will have a set number of stages and these can be summarised as follows:

  • Stage 1: Dissemination – An invitation for participation into the programme by the Department of Education and Department of Transport will be sent to all schools nationwide. This invitation will take the form of an Expression of Interest (EOI)
  • Stage 2: Expression of Interest – Schools will be asked to complete and submit the EOI to SRTS.
  • Stage 3: Selection – A selection process will take place based on a number of agreed criteria (see 4 above).
  • Stage 4: Communication & Liaison – Selected schools will be informed by SRTS. SRTS will then liaise with selected schools and the relevant local authorities on infrastructural inventions for their schools.
  • Stage 5: Interventions – SRTS will produce an outline delivery plan for each school showing interventions at concept design stage.
  • Stage 6: Submission – This delivery plan will be submitted by SRTS to local authorities to take forward for further design and implementation. Local authorities can then access dedicated funding from the NTA for the projects.
  • Stage 7 Community Support – The school involved will act as a local champion of the proposed measures to ensure community buy-in for the proposals. Support will be provided by SRTS and the NTA.
  • Stage 8: Delivery – Local authorities will undertake proposed interventions in relation to the front of school environs and walking and cycling infrastructure around schools to be funded by the NTA. SRTS will deliver cycle parking.

The Safe Routes to School programme is a new programme launched in spring 2021, that is open to all schools nationwide. The number of schools participating in the programme at any one time will be limited so that the optimum outcome for schools can be achieved. It is envisaged that the programme will operate for a number of years, so that schools that applied but were not selected in the initial phases will be considered for participation later, in accordance with their order on the list. There will be further opportunities for schools to apply or reapply to participate in the programme at future dates. The list of schools will be updated periodically, to remove those schools that have already participated and to incorporate schools that apply for the first time or those that reapplied due to changed circumstances.

If you wish to find out more information about the programme please contact SRTS via email at: saferoutestoschool@greenschoolsireland.org

The Expression of Interest form is available below or at: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/fd55ab84e3bf465dac8e1be96e9b2e98

Expression of Interest Survey

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