§ Miss Geraldine Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what steps the Government are taking to encourage the use of public transport by children travelling to and from school. 
§ Mr. Hill
In December 1998 we established the School Travel Advisory Group (STAG) to promote best practice and develop a more coherent approach to school travel issues.
STAG oversees a programme of research which includes a project, due for completion in Summer 2000, to identify good practice in increasing bus use for journeys to and from school. This will lead to the publication of a guide for local authorities and operators.
STAG has also overseen the preparation of two guides published in June, one for local authorities and one for parents, teachers and school governors, which include guidance on increasing the use of public transport by children travelling to and from school. Both guides also include guidance on increasing levels of walking and cycling.
I have arranged for a copy of both guides to be placed in the Library.