Cycling and walking to school

Walking and scootering

Over the last 20 years the number of children walking to school has fallen dramatically, while the number of car journeys to school has increased, adding to traffic congestion and pollution.

It is recommended that children take 15,000 steps a day, so walking to school can contribute to this, as well as giving opportunities to develop road safety skills and a chance to talk and socialise with families and friends.

Schools are encouraged to develop a School Travel Plan (STP) which outlines a package of initiatives that promotes sustainable forms of transport such as walking and cycling while reducing car use.

Walk on Wednesdays or Walk Once a Week (Wow)

Some schools reward children who walk, cycle, use public transport or park and stride at least once a week with Wow badges or in other ways.

Walk to School Week and Walk to School Month

During the National Walk to School Week each May and the International Walk to School month in October, school communities are encouraged to walk to school.

Walking bus

Some schools run a walking bus, where adults supervise groups of children as they walk along a set route.

Scootering to school

Schools often encourage their pupils to scooter to school as an alternative and fun way to travel in an active and social way. The school may have scooter storage for the pupils to use as well as a scootering policy explaining who is allowed to scooter.

For families who are not able to walk or scooter to school they are encouraged to use public transport or to drive part way.

Park and stride

A Park and Stride scheme is where the parents/carers who normally drive their child or children to school are asked to park in locations away from the school and walk the last 5 minutes or so to get to the school.

Park and ride

Alternatively you could drive your child part way before they catch a bus or tube for the remaining part of their journey to school.

Car sharing

Some schools coordinate car sharing lists so you could enquire if the school can help you find another family to car share with. Information about appropriate car seats for children and how to fit them can be found here.


Cycling to school can be a convenient and healthy way to get to school, contributing to the 60 minutes a day of physical activity for children aged between 5 and 18 years, recommended by the four Chief Medical Officers of the UK.

If a school encourages their pupils to cycle to school a cycling policy and cycle storage should be in place. It is recommended that pupils do not cycle to school on the road unless they have received appropriate cycle training, depending on their specific route, to either level 2 or 3 of the national Bikeability scheme.  To find out more about the different Bikeability levels visit the Bikeability website.

The school itself may arrange for cycle training for their pupils through Barnet’s Cycling Officer.  Check with your school to see if they have booked Bikeability training.

If not, you can arrange some free family cycle training.  Whether you and your family are new to cycling or would like to improve your skills the training will be tailored to suit your family’s needs. The training is for up to 3 people and at least one must be an adult.  This training is delivered by the cycle training company, Cycle Confident.

To find out more or to book a free session visit the Cycle Confident website, register then book your session.

London cycle maps can be seen on-line or ordered from the TfL website

You can find more information about cycling in Barnet here.