Sustainable travel to school

How does your child travel to and from school every day?

With a little thought and planning the journey between home and school can be a positive experience for you and your child. Avoid the stress of being stuck in traffic jams by encouraging your child to walk or cycle to and from school to increase physical activity, improve health, child safety and reduce pollution levels.

Ask your school about pedestrian training, cycle proficiency or the Bikeability on-road cycle training.

Benefits of walking or cycling to school for children

  • Improves safety by practising road skills
  • Helps to control body weight, maintain healthy bones and muscles
  • Helps develop a sense of independence and self confidence in your child
  • Provides social opportunities for friends to walk/cycle together
  • Reduces congestion at the school gates and on local roads
  • Improves air quality and promotes greater regard for climate change

Benefits of walking or cycling to school for parents

  • Regular physical activity can reduce the risk of heart disease, strokes and other illnesses in adults.
  • You can teach your child about road safety and the importance of being a safe road user.
  • Walking has more than just physical benefits; it can help make your child more alert at school for learning.
  • Reducing car use can save you money. Leaving your car at home for short journeys can help reduce your motoring costs leaving you with more money for other necessities.

If you can't walk or can still help to reduce car use. You may live too far away or may be going straight onto work.

However, a car sharing scheme may be possible or parking your car 5 minutes away from the school and walking your children from there.

Public transport

Where walking/cycling is not possible, please consider public transport before using the family car on the school run, public transport is miles better for the environment and cuts down on traffic and pollution.

Many secondary school pupils travel to school by public transport and the journey to a new school is often the first step your child will take toward independent travel; Bus services provide a safe and reliable way to get to school. Instead of giving your child a lift all the way to school why not consider dropping off at a bus stop or train station so that your child can continue their journey by public transport with friends?

All pupils in full time education are entitled to purchase a weekly School Plus Metro Card or for those occasional bus users pay half fare on public transport; please contact Metro for more information. Bus services run to or close by many local secondary and primary schools. To find out which buses serve your school and get up to date information on school travel please visit the schools page on the Metro website.

Bradford Council is committed to reducing car travel which is a major source of pollution and congestion around school gates and encourages schools to produce a School Travel Plan setting out their commitment to sustainable school travel.

Please ask your headteacher for more information on your School's Travel Plan

Your child needs you to show them the way to sustainability. Reduce your car use and improve their quality of life.

Free travel to school

Your child may be entitled to a free bus pass allowing him/her to travel to and from school free of charge if he/she is:

  • Under 8 years old, attends the nearest qualifying school and lives more than 2 miles from the school.
  • 8 years old or over attends the nearest qualifying school and lives more than 3 miles from the school.
  • Unable to walk because the nature of the route is unsafe.

Low income

  • If your child is entitled to free school meals or
  • You are in receipt of maximum level of Working Tax Credit

Your child may qualify for free school travel because you are on a low income and your child is:

  • aged 8 to 10, and lives more that 2 miles walking distance from their nearest school.
  • aged 11 - 16, lives over 2 miles but under 6 miles from one of the three nearest secondary schools where they live.
  • Attending the nearest faith school on grounds of religion, belief or lack of belief, that is over 2 miles but less that 15 miles from their home.

Pupils who qualify for free home to school transport are usually provided with a free (zero fare) pass or boarding card to use on dedicated school bus services or public transport.

To apply for a free pass you must complete an application form, available from the School Travel Service by visiting the Home to School Travel page.

If your child does not qualify for free travel you may be able to purchase a travel pass or boarding card from Metro. Further details on all concessionary fares and bus routes are available from Metro.

If your child has a statement of Special Educational Needs, and or a disability or temporary medical condition and is unable to walk to school, you may qualify for free school travel from the Council. Special Needs Transport is arranged through The School Travel Service.

Further information on home to school travel or advice for applying for free travel can be found in the Home to School Travel Policy.