“Teaching you to travel independently” that has been the aim of Surrey Choices and Surrey County Council as they launched a Travel Choices pilot back in September 2021. Six months on, what impact can Travel Training have for young people with Surrey Choices?
Why Travel Choices?
Even before young people leave school, Surrey Choices can support them to learn how to travel independently. Not only does this help young people get to school, but it enables them to go to other places, meet friends and do the things that they will enjoy. We work with people to create a Personal Independent Travel Plan to find the best way for them to travel. Those who undertake Travel Training will become less reliant on parents and Carers. Training provides young people with important life skills which can open new areas of social, education or employment opportunities.
Not only does Travel Training have an impact on a person’s independence, but it also allows individuals to leave a greener footprint on the environment. Lessening the use of taxis and cars for walking, cycling, and using public transport can reduce a person’s own carbon footprint.
How does It work?
- A Route Assessment- A Travel Coach will identify all the risks and hazards, safe points, and landmarks.
- Road Safety – A Travel Coach will teach you how to walk safely including crossing roads, using pedestrian and zebra crossings.
- Public Transport – A Travel Coach will teach you how to read a timetable, buy the right ticket and how to get on and off vehicles safely.
- What if Scenarios – A Travel Coach will prepare you for situations like missing your bus, train delays or if a stranger approaches you.
- Shadowing from a distance – A travel coach will shadow you from a distance before signing you off as an independent traveller.
- Keeping in touch with you – Surrey Choices will check in with you to see if it is going well. You can also get in touch if you need more support.
A positive outcome of Travel Choices
J had already achieved so much throughout their travel plan and is making great progress. One hurdle they had to overcome, was that the bus stop they needed to use was not noticeably clear for the people waiting.
So, with the support of Travel Choices Lead, Cheryl, together they contacted the local bus company. They clarified that the bus stop J wanted to use had indeed been closed, however, that was some years ago. The route has now changed back again but the stop was never reinstated.
A member of staff from the bus company was very proactive. A week later he contacted us to say the bus stop was going to be re-opened! He assured us that the bus company would put the signs back up and inform their drivers, so they know to look out for people waiting for the bus there.
An extremely fast response from the bus company and a great result for J. “I have since been using that stop with them and it is so much better and safer. They have a shorter walk, and it is a shelter stop so in the winter months they will be protected from the severe weather said Cheryl.
Get in Touch
To learn more or to contact our Travel Choices Team follow the link here.
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