West Berkshire Council

24 Local Authorities around the UK sign up to West Berkshire's new pioneering app

In a joint venture, West Berkshire Council have supported the development of pioneering smartphone app, RouteGuard

RouteGuard2

In recent years, the Traffic and Road Safety team at West Berkshire Council have been considering the potential for developing technology solutions that support parents and young people who want to confidently pursue independent and active travel, such as walking and cycling.

In a joint venture with award-winning transport safety consultancy, Agilysis Ltd, West Berkshire Council have supported the development of pioneering smartphone app, RouteGuard, which uses geolocation technology to give reassurance to parents/ guardians and security to children for their local unaccompanied journeys.

In order to use RouteGuard, the app requires parents and guardians to use a code which will only be issued by a registered school or local authority. This is to ensure that the app is only being used by legitimate guardians. Since the app was officially launched in September 2019, 24 local authorities have signed up from across the UK including Boroughs in London, Devon, Warwickshire, Wiltshire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. It is completely free for local authorities and schools to sign up.

Cheryl Evans, Senior Road Safety Officer at West Berkshire Council commented:

"We are aiming to get local authorities around the UK to sign up to RouteGuard and to promote the use of the app to the schools in their locality. We hope this will encourage young people to be more active and allow their parents to be more confident as they begin to travel independently."

Before RouteGuard was launched it was trialled by parents in West Berkshire and Hampshire. Lyndsay from Hampshire linked the app with her phone and her daughters:

"Routeguard has helped me allow my daughter to travel more independently to and from school as we are able to plan and agree routes together. Being able to track my daughter reassures me she is where she should be and safe.  My daughter is now out of the car, more active, and enjoys the freedom using the app brings."

The RouteGuardapp is available to download from Apple and Google Play stores.  As the RouteGuardian, parents will be able to plan, monitor, and adjust routes and pre-defined zones encouraging mutual agreement with their child.

For more information about the RouteGuard app and FAQs, visit the website www.routeguard.co.uk