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Coronavirus (Covid-19): service updates, support and health advice.

Active travel to school

Encouraging young people to walk, scoot or cycle to school has many benefits.

Health and wellbeing

Travelling actively to school can:

  • improve health and fitness
  • improve concentration at school (active students do better in their studies)
  • improves road safety around schools
  • help students to unwind after school by giving them time and space to think
  • give students more confidence and develop independence

The environment and climate emergency

We declared a climate emergency on 17 July 2019.

Active travel to school helps the environment by reducing:

  • air pollution
  • carbon emissions from cars
  • congestion around schools and nearby residential areas

It is also a quicker and cheaper way to travel, particularly for short journeys.

We have support and resources to promote and encourage active travel to school as well as information for parents who want to find out more.

We give advice and resources to help your school encourage pupils and their families to actively travel to school.

Modeshift STARS

This national accreditation is a free of charge scheme for schools. It supports the development of a school travel plan using an online portal.

It is an excellent way of encouraging sustainable active travel to school. We can support your accreditation from sign up to the Platinum level.

Barley Close Primary in Mangotsfield was the first school in South Gloucestershire to reach Bronze and to then progress to Silver – read their story to find out how Modeshift Stars has made a difference to their school community.

Your school will have met some of the criteria for this accreditation if they offer:

  • road safety workshops
  • pedestrian training
  • Bikeability cycle training

Sustainable travel advice and resources

We have resources for schools to help promote active travel. These include:

  • workshops on active travel for years 3 to 6 (for example, Clean Air Kids and Transition to Secondary)
  • activities and incentives that encourage active modes of transport
  • Anti-idling campaign toolkit
  • Park away campaign toolkit
  • help to set up a Park & Stride site or Park & Stride Zones
  • active travel maps specific for your school
  • banners to promote active travel
  • information for your school website newsletters

You can to ask for:

  • information and advice
  • help with getting the Modeshift accreditation
  • book any of our resources

School Streets

This scheme is a proactive way for school communities to tackle air pollution, improve health and road safety.

If your school takes part the road outside will have temporary restriction on all traffic. This includes school drop-off and pick-up times.

This makes a safer, healthier, and more pleasant environment for everyone.

We now have 4 school street schemes:

We are setting up 5 trial School Streets this year (2020 to 2021) to help us understand the best way to run them. If your school would like to be involved you can email

You can read more about this scheme on the School Streets website.

Parents are a great help in encouraging active travel to school.

We appreciate that you are busy, here are some suggestions that can help.

Walk and drive

If it is too far to walk all the way to school, drive part of the way and park your car a short walk away from school.

Your child will get some exercise and you can still drive to work after you have dropped them off.  If you have the time, you can do the same when you pick them up.

If you do not have the time to do this every day, try to do it just one day a week.

Take turns with other families

Take turns to walk them to school with other families. This can help if your children go to different schools or if it will encourage them to be active without making you late for where you need to be.

For older children arrange walking buddies with their friends.

Road safety for children

There are many ways you can help your child to stay safe on the roads.

You can:

  • show them how to look for risks
  • practise road safety with them

The council offer a range of road safety workshops including pedestrian and cycling training to schools.  Ask your school when they are running them and when your child can attend.

You can use Openstreetmap or Google maps  to plan a safer route on quieter roads, cycle paths and footpaths.


Check that your child’s bike is safe to ride regularly. Encourage them to join in.

Simple checks and maintenance can help them have a smooth ride to school, learn valuable skills and avoid repairs.

The Sustrans website has information on the M check that can help.

Ask your school when their next Bikeability course is if your child needs more confidence when riding their bike.

You can read more on the Bikeability cycle training programme.

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