Wednesday 15 July 2015

Travel to Swanshurst School

Swanshurst school enrichment day is about 'equipping our girls with the skills they need to be happy, successful, confident young women who have the desire and resilience to go to University or pursue a career or vocation and be the best they can be'.

I was happy to volunteer, working alongside others from Swan Corner Community Group, Commando Joe, Riverside Performing Arts and others.

I worked on 'travel to school' with fifteen Swanshurst pupils for the morning of 13th July.  After a little interview training and time preparing the group, we were able to go out across the school and interview 37 students and staff, the results (see pie charts).

The responses had a lot of similarities with responses to questions posed at Queensbridge School a couple of weeks ago.  Like Queensbridge, half of people who drive (or are driven) to school would rather arrived some other way.

We were unable to find anyone who had cycled to Swanshurst school on a wet July morning, but 13.5% wish they had.  While half the students felt safe on their journey to school, a
quarter felt 'not safe at all'.

Listening to interviews, a significant number of people felt intimidated on Buses by other passengers and that cars were safer, even if they would prefer to walk or cycle.

Road accidents in the past ten years
In the last ten years there have been 30 casualties from road traffic accidents within 50 yards of the school gates (see and
Road accidents (yellow) and crimes (blue) at Swan Corner

Most of the 34 crimes reported in the same area in the past three years were anti-social behaviour or vehicle cime taking place in or near the Billesley Pub car park.

It is hard to determine when those crimes are taking place, and even harder to assess just how dangerous buses might be, but the recent high profile murder on a Birmingham bus may be influencing travel choices.

What is clear is that pedestrians are being injured in road accidents outside Swanshurst School, and that if people feel they have no safe choice but to drive, then there will be more accidents in the future.

Here's hoping the girls at Swanshurst School will feel more confident to influence change to make our journeys to school safer.

A big thanks to everyone who made the enrichment day possible..