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Active travel to school - the benefits

Choosing active travel to school can have many benefits for you and your family


The journey to school provides a great opportunity to promote your child’s learning. Research suggests that children who make active journeys to school by walking, scooting or cycling arrive more alert and ready to learn. They also perform better in exams, are less stressed, and have higher overall academic achievement.


Everyone wants their children to grow up as healthy as possible, and the way children travel early in life can inform their choices as adults. Getting children to walk or cycle to school not only provides a great way to fit some exercise into their day, it can also help to instill a healthy travel habit for life.

Although it can be tempting to take the car, the costs can often outweigh the benefits when it comes to children's health. The missed opportunity for exercise coupled with the potential long-term side effects of reduced air quality around schools mean that taking the car can be bad for children, as well as for their environment. If you live too far from the school, you could consider car sharing with other families to save on time and on fuel costs.

Quality time

The journey to and from school also provides an opportunity for parents or carers and their children to spend some quality time together. Research shows that this is the most important time of day when children get to share their school news and talk about their day. Rather than rushing in traffic, or getting stressed sat in traffic queues, why not walk with your children and enjoy some quality time together?

Saving time

Families are always short of time and leaving the house in a morning can be a stressful experience for many. Cycling for short urban trips is proven to be one of the quickest - as well most enjoyable - ways of getting around York. It's usually quicker to walk or cycle to school than it is to load up a car, drive to school, find a parking space, unload and get to the school gates!


The safety of our children is paramount and all schools in York offer road safety training to help children cycle and walk to school safely. School safety zones in place around each school often include 20mph speed zones, parking restrictions, safe crossing points or school crossing patrols. These all help to reduce traffic speeds and cut accidents around the school gates, making it much safer for for children to cycle, scoot or walk to school.