Ruth Maguire MSP has encouraged residents to consider active travel options as extra pressure on road networks is anticipated with children and young people returning to school.

Schools across Scotland are welcoming pupils back this week following scientific advice to the Scottish Government which permits their safe reopening.

A new campaign has been launched to promote walking and cycling as commuting options instead of using public transport which will be operating at an increased capacity at peak times. The Travel Safe campaign encourages people to continue to work from home if possible and to use live information to plan their journeys ahead of time if they do not need to travel at peak times.

The SNP MSP said: “Many parents will be glad to see a return to a more regular routine with schools reopening this week. With this aspect of daily routine making a return it’s expected that road traffic will be much busier at peak times as children are dropped off and picked up from school. 

“As such, I’d like to encourage those who are able to consider walking or cycling to ease congestion and keep space free on public transport for those who need it most.

“As we emerge from lockdown, it is encouraging that some people who have taken up active travel as a method of commuting may continue with this change as we aim to make a greener recovery from Covid-19.”

Douglas Cairns from Transport Scotland said:

“While it’s welcome news that schools are reopening, it will put pressure on our road network and our public transport system as physical distancing rules are still in place.

“The Travel Safe campaign is asking commuters to help us keep Scotland moving by only travelling if you need to, and working from home if you can.

“If you do need to travel please walk, wheel or cycle wherever possible. You could also look to make your journey outside of the peak times.

“You can find up to date travel information on the Traffic Scotland website and Twitter page, allowing you to plan ahead and check your route before you set off. Travel advice is also available on the Transport Scotland website.”

To deliver messages to the travelling public, the Scottish Government are working with partners such as Traffic Scotland, Traveline Scotland, ScotRail, bus and ferry operators, and active travel partners to ensure a co-ordinated approach: 

Transport Scotland Journey Planner

Transport Scotland School Travel

New guidance, developed with the Education Recovery Group, has been published to support local authorities, teachers and parents to prepare for the new term and minimise the risks of COVID-19 transmission through the application of a number of infection mitigation measures.