The Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA) and ARUP have received funding for a new pilot study known as the Active School Travel Index.
Funding from the Department for Infrastructure has been granted for a tool to be developed that maps and analyses Belfast’s active travel infrastructure and assesses the level of accessibility by active modes to schools. The insights offered can then potentially be used to make viable proposals on future changes to infrastructure in order to better facilitate walking, cycling and wheeling by children going to school.
Anonymised data supplied from the Department of Education will be used to measure where children are travelling from to attend school and will assess:
- Accessibility for walking (population within 10 min walk of school)
- Accessibility for cycling (population within 10 min cycle of school)
- Pedestrian network quality (traffic volume, speeds, road classification)
- Cycling network quality (cycling route designation, segregation from traffic)
- Network steepness (gradient of paths)
- Attractiveness of routes (density of activities/ land use)
The pilot study will initially focus on the North Belfast area and will use data to recommend a range of specific interventions to the built environment in the school cluster area identifying how many pupils would have a safe, attractive, sustainable travel route to school compared to the status quo. A project oversight group consisting of representatives from RSUA and ARUP will be formed to manage the process.
The pilot is scheduled to take approximately two months to reach it’s conclusion.
Read the Active Travel Index initial report below.