Land Use Planning and the Environment

The action plan however is not without its critics, the most notable being the RAC, whose position is that the effects of the school run are often exaggerated. The main point raised by the RAC is that many of the parents who use their car to drop their children off at school, would use their cars anyways even if they weren't involved in the school run, either to travel to work after dropping the children of, or to go shopping. It is also believed that the increase in children who are being driven to school is a result of government policy, which allows children and parents more freedom as to the choice of schools.

This choice means that more children are attending schools outside of their local area and therefore have further to travel to school everyday. The other main concern that the RAC has is that it believes that the forces that drive the reduction of children being driven to school should come from within the community through the schools, the pupils and the parents, instead of being imposed from above.

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The RAC also suggests several plans, which could be adopted by schools to reduce congestion.

These plans include walking groups of children with adult supervision, car sharing, school mini buses, designated drop off zones in front of schools which allow parents t park legally and safely and cycling clubs which promote cycling in groups in safe designated routes. The RAC's final criticism of the action plan is that it questions whether or not staggered opening times of schools would reduce the congestion or rather extend it due to parents having to make multiple trips.

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"Traveling to school: an action plan" points out several key factors that are important and crucial in reducing the number of cars on the school, there are several key points that need to be addressed. The first major problem with the recommendations made in the action plan are in regards to the RAC's comments that the effects of the school run are exaggerated, because of the fact that many parents who drop their children off at school, would be using their vehicle anyways to continue on their way to work.

This is actually a better way of transportation, because it promotes car-pooling, so instead of a parent making a single trip to their place of work, they are also using their vehicle as a means of transportation for their children to get to school. The action plan should therefore look more specifically at parents who are involved in the school run who are making dropping off their children the sole purpose of their journey, otherwise they are targeting a group who for the most part are doing the right thing by using their vehicle for more than a single trip for a single person.

The government should also not be as concerned with the number of cars involved in the school run, but more concerned with looking at their own policies which may have helped to create the increase in the number of cars involved in the school run. Instead of allowing children and parents to have such a free choice of schools, district regulations should be more strictly enforced and children should be promoted to go to their local schools.

The rest of the "action plan" seems to be not much else other than a desire of the government to make children more active and lower obesity rates. Other than that they should be attacking other areas to reduce congestion on the roads, such as mentioned before, single drivers in single cars traveling to work. It should maybe target the other cars on the road at peak hours, because only 1 in 5 are on the school run, meaning that at least 3 in 5 cars on the road at that same time are probably on their way to work.

More specifically however, there are several recommendations for the action itself, in order to make it work better. It should also include a recommendation to create safe drop off areas in front of schools to reduce the number of illegally parked cars in front of schools that may be adding to local congestion, and have parent or student volunteers policing the area and trying to keep the movement of cars through the drop off area at a steady rate.


Updated: May 19, 2021
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Land Use Planning and the Environment. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from

Land Use Planning and the Environment essay
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