Last updated July 2008
1. An investigation of road hazards in the area around your school.
(you could go out into your own immediate school neighbourhood and take digital camera pictures of some of these to make your own guide....) - SUSTRANS have some particularly useful resources in this respect.
HAZARDS caused by traffic
2. RESOURCES on the introduction of CONGESTION CHARGING in London. This is one response to traffic congestion - list some others.
There are some more links at a CLICKABLE MAP which is on the BBC's site.
Click on the map and you can find some useful notes on the TOP 10 BUSIEST
M8 near Glasgow
M62 in West Riding of Yorkshire
M1 in East Midlands & Home Counties
M25 North and West
A3 in Surrey
A34 in Oxfordshire and Berkshire
M42 in West Midlands
M6 in West Midlands
3. THE SCHOOL RUN
Each child makes around 4000 journeys to and from school.
Under 10% of 7 and 8 year olds make their own way to school, compared with 80% in 1971
Most car journeys to school are less than 2 miles - short trips cause a disproportionate amount of pollution
One in five cars in the morning rush is transporting children to school
In Denmark, 60% of children cycle to school
There is a school resource pack on the subject of the School run available from the Department of Transport. The latest plan is to tax people who are on the roads at this time of the day.
WALK TO SCHOOL WEEK is at the end of May each year.
The National Society for Clean Air has a RESOURCE pack to try to encourage people to leave the car at home and cut down on pollution.
One way to reduce pollution and congestion is to CYCLE TO SCHOOL. In YORK, which is nice and flat, they have a well developed cycle network. This could be used as a case study and you can download some good PDF maps of the centre of YORK: I got them and they're very nice thank you. Could also form the basis of some mapwork or tourism investigation.
4. TRANSPORT DATA ANALYSIS
The Department for TRANSPORT's website has a large range of data to download which could form the basis for a lesson on data analysis, or use of Spreadsheets / Graphical techniques. They have data on Road Traffic and Congestion, Personal Travel and Public transport.
The opening of the UK's first toll motorway: the 27 mile long M6 TOLL on December the 9th 2003, by Alastair Darling made the news. This would be a useful issue for debate etc. I taped a few news reports on the day and they were fairly useful.
The BBC site had a good article on the OPENING of the toll road, which led to various links, including the road's own website (click the LOGO above...) The site has Maps and Routes (including an Interactive Map) and details on the TOLLS that will be charged. The BBC BIRMINGHAM area of the site had a very useful mini-site with a series of PHOTO GALLERIES and details, such as the use of noise-reducing asphalt, and the 'state of the art' Road Chef services... You can also register to use an electronic tag to pay the toll, which means you don't need to stop at the tolls...
Could ask your students to investigate the road, and do a COST / BENEFIT ANALYSIS. This could be helped by an investigation of various related websites, particularly those which were protesting against (or recording the construction of) the road.
The launch toll charges will be:
Motor Bike: £1 during day (0600-2300) and 50p outside these hours
Car: £2 (£1)
Van: £5 (£4)
HGV: £10 (£9)
Students could work out how many of each vehicle would need to use the road to pay back the £900 million it cost. At 50 000 vehicles a day, how long would it take ?
An article in the Times just before Christmas gave an indication of the success of the newly opened road. Between December 14th and 20th it attracted an average of over 34 000 vehicles a day.
There have also been several articles in newspapers where they compare the times taken to travel the routes. There was one in 'The Guardian' and 'The Times' in January 2004, with both people deciding that they would pay the money in future to save the time.
On 19th January, there was a problem. The road had been restricted to one lane, and queues started to build up. Drivers were apparently offered a refund on their toll.
6. ROUTE 66 and all that....
Starter, or homework...
Get your pupils to think of as many song titles as they can think of that are on a transport theme, or films where transport is a big theme. For example: the coach hanging over the drop in 'The Italian Job', or 'Speed' (or the 'Father Ted' parody...), the car chase in The Matrix: Reloaded ?
Highway to Hell: AC DC
Road to Nowhere: Talking Heads...
Could perhaps have a track playing as they come in on the first lesson, so that they have to 'guess the topic', except all our topics are signposted from the start of the year in every Geography classroom, with word walls and so on and every objective explained at the start there's not a lot of mystery any more about where the lesson might take you.....
7. MOTORWAY SERVICE STATIONS
Some ideas for using Motorway service stations as a theme....
Don't forget to stop at Tebay services on the M6 - the best ! (and also named after the Director of Sport at my school...)
8. THE COMMUTER GAME
Play the commuter game courtesy of BBC LONDON. Shockwave FLASH is required.
Then check out the JAM CAMS to see where the JAMS are, and DOWNLOAD some maps.
9. Save SHEFFIELD CITY AIRPORT
Information on plans in 2005 to close the above airport and a campaign to save it. Should we be closing down more airports ?
What about surcharges on cheap flights ?
There is a new airport opening on the old RAF Finningley site: it's called ROBIN HOOD airport.
10. SUVs (the fights against 4x4)
There are a series of organisations against the growth of 4x4 vehicles on the roads. Ken Livingstone doesn't like them.
SUV = Sports Utility Vehicle
Registration of such vehicles was up by 13% last year, and sales are 4.5 million a year.
US group: STOP URBAN 4x4s
There is now a COLOUR CODING labelling for cars by the DoT
The 2006 Budget announced plans to raise the road tax for certain cars.
11. Why not use the new 2 letter license plate tags to do a survey of cars as part of fieldwork.
These are called MEMORY TAGS.
There is a very useful map showing the locations of the licensing centres on the DVLA website which is linked to from a LIST OF TAGS.
These would be a useful centre point for proportional circles to show the locations where cars counted at a particular location were licensed. This doesn't necessarily mean that the owner of the car comes from there, or that the car has been driven to that location on that particular day - obviously there is a second hand trade in cars, and people move around the country (my car was registered in Barnsley for example...), but it does give an idea for the range of areas from which people are visiting a place.
12. STREETS AHEAD
This is a free resource produced by the RAC
It features a range of resources, photos, maps and activities based around a sequence of lessons.
Also features a plug for GeographyPages.
14. Received an excellent FREE pack from Transport for London in May 2007
It's a CURRICULUM FOCUS on CYCLING.
Has a sturdy folder and some imaginative ideas on using cycling as a curriculum focus (natch) Also a set of postcards and CD ROM with resources on it, plus a POSTER and relates to the School Travel Plan idea. Going to use it for KS3 (or perhaps for a KS2 Transition project)
Thanks to Mike from Frixo for telling me about the website, which contains road / motorway traffic updates every 3 minutes.
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