It’s Walk To School Week – how are you moving? It’s encouraging to see increasing investment from governments and councils in infrastructure to make Active Travel easier and safer for children and adults alike. It’s easy to forget though that long term behavioural change takes more than redesigning systems like streets and transport networks. We need to bring the public with us, and we need to start young.
We’re keen to use Skill City Virtual Reality to help deliver a genuine switch in public perceptions, confidence and skills in relation to Active Travel, starting with schools. The NHS-funded 360 platform is already live and being used by teachers to raise awareness of safeguarding and wellbeing topics, through the presentation of dilemmas for discussion, decision-making and doing (testing consequences of choices and potentially changing our minds).
We believe this approach is ideal for supporting Modal Shift through Active Travel, Safer Travel and IndependentTravel choices. Young people should be becoming more travel-independent as they approach the end of #primary school and begin secondary education. Too often, they are not, often due to car-centric infrastructure, but also due to lack of confidence and skills in areas such as Journey Planning, dealing with travel problems, and concerns for Personal Safety and Road Safety. 360 Travel delivered through Skill City VR can be a powerful tool to engage teachers, children and families. around the UK.
This can not only support personal shifts to Active Travel, but help local authorities and others build public support for sometimes controversial innovations such as Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and School Streets. It could also engage young people, their families and local communities in street design and layout for the future.
Get in touch if you’d like to know more about 360 Travel – our net phase of development. We’re looking for knowledge, expertise and networks as much as funding. Can you help us get this show on the footpath (or cycle track?).