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Safety of walked route between home and school

Concerns about the safety of my child's walking route to school

If you think the route to your catchment or nearest school is unsafe for your child to walk without an adult, your child(ren) could get free school transport. To see if you qualify, we will assess the route. Before you request an assessment, it is important to read the:

Request a walked route assessment

Complete the form to get arrange an assessment.

If you need a paper form, contact the Road Safety team.

Query your travel entitlement

If you have got an offer letter for a school place for one of the following places, and want to query your travel entitlement, email admissionstransport@dorsetcc.gov.uk or call school admissions:

  • infant to junior transfer
  • first to middle transfer
  • reception

Common queries about the walked route assessment

Common queries about the school walking route assessment
QuestionsAnswers
What is the national guidance?

National guidance is provided by Road Safety Great Britain (RSGB) for those tasked with assessing the safety of 'walked routes to and from schools' to determine the provision of free school transport for persons under the Education Act 1944 amended 1996.

What is the scope of the guidelines?

The scope of the guidelines is limited to the risks resulting from the interaction between pedestrians and traffic. It does not consider personal security.

Does the assessment assume a child is accompanied as necessary?

Yes, it also considers that the child and parent will be wearing fluorescent and reflective jackets, particularly on roads with no street lighting (case law presumes a child is accompanied, as necessary as stated in the Education Act 1996).

Does the assessment consider the absence of street lighting?

Street lighting is not considered.

If part or all of the route has no footpath, how is this assessed?

If there is footpath then an assessment of traffic flow is made first. A road with heavy traffic flow must have continuous adequate footway provision. Roads with light traffic flow must have adequate step-offs with good sightlines. Roads with low traffic flow do not require step-offs, but should have sufficiently good sightlines.

What are step-offs?

The term step-off refers to the facility for pedestrians to easily be able to step off the roadway onto reasonably even and firm surface.

What classes a high traffic flow?

Roads that have a traffic flow in excess of 840 vehicles in a one hour period.

What classes a medium traffic flow?

Roads that have a traffic flow of 400 to 840 vehicles in a one hour period.

What classes a low traffic flow?

Roads that have a traffic flow below 400 in a one hour period.

What does the assessment consider difficulty in crossing roads?

Yes, this is assessed by applying a gap analysis.

What is gap analysis?

A gap analysis records the number of gaps in traffic flow in a 5 minute period, which is greater than the road crossing time. Four such gaps in a 5 minute period are considered acceptable.

Does the assessment consider collision history for the route?

Yes, a 3 year collision history is provided for the complete route and forms part of the overall assessment.

Does the assessment consider vehicle?

If the initial assessment of the route and collision history indicates there is a possible speeding issue and assuming there is sufficient vehicle flow in order to assess traffic speeds, then a traffic speed survey will be undertaken.


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