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Title: Investigating the impacts of policy on school travel
Authors: Van Ristell, Jessica Ann
Keywords: Schools
Local Authority
Travel behaviour
Mode choice
Multilevel modelling
Vehicle miles travelled
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: © Jessica Ann Van Ristell
Abstract: Millions of children travel to and from school each day as part of their daily routine. A large percentage of children make this journey by car, and the numbers are steadily rising and this is leading to many environmental and health implications for children. The current economic climate has persuaded the British Government to look again at policies relating to all school travel funding to highlight areas where savings and cuts can be made. This is interesting because the home-to-school transport provision policy has been in place since the Education Act 1944 and this policy costs local authorities in England over £1 billion a year. Therefore, the focus of this thesis is threefold. Firstly, it seeks to determine the main issues within school travel and reports on the views of current professionals in the school travel industry. Structured in-depth interviews were carried out with 16 UK and US school travel experts. The questions focused on the current stakeholders of school travel, issues regarding school travel, bus use in school travel, and the challenges faced by transport planners to ensure school pupils have a safe and pleasant journey to school. Secondly this thesis quantifies the traffic and environmental impacts of the school choice policy in England. It achieves this by analysing School Census data from 2009 from the Department for Education. Multinomial logit modelling and mixed multinomial logit modelling are used to illustrate the current travel behaviour of English children in their journey to school and examine how there can be a significant reduction in vehicle miles travelled, CO2 emissions and fuel consumption if the school choice policy is removed. The results suggest that if all children attended their nearest school, this would result in reductions in their personal mobility, vehicle miles travelled and CO2 emissions. Finally, this thesis examines the policies relating to the funding criteria of home-to-school public school transport provision. Specifically, the paper employs a multilevel modelling technique to develop a series of relationships between bus usage by school and the level of spending by local education authorities on home-to-school bus travel provision while controlling for other factors such as school quality, land-use patterns and various proxies for household incomes. The results suggest that there is a significant effect of funding on the total school-level bus passenger mileage for primary (aged less than 11), secondary (aged 11 to 16) and Post 16 schools.
Description: A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/9123
Appears in Collections:PhD Theses (Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering)

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