Walking to school

Why we encourage children to walk to school.

For more information email: transport.projects@brighton-hove.gov.uk.​

Why walk to school?

The Chief Medical Officer has recommended physical activity guidelines for children which include:

  • Children under 5 should be active for at least 3 hours a day. To help achieve this walk or skip to and from nursery, pre-school or school.
  • Children over 5 and adults should minimise the amount of time sitting still and one way to achieve this is to swap long car or bus journeys for walking part of the way.

A Living Street's report Backseat Children [PDF 1.43mb] describes how, because children are being driven to school, they are failing to develop an understanding of road safety, their environment or their role in the community.

Parents/carers: once you have walked your child to school, why not keep on walking in the city?  

Promoting walking to school

Walk to School Week is a national campaign aimed at getting children and their families walking to school in May each year.

Walk to School Month is an international campaign aimed at getting children and their families walking to school in October each year.

Walk to School activities and ideas [PDF 424kb]

WOW - Walk Once a Week scheme promotes long term travel change behaviour from driving to walking to school. Every child who walks at least once a week earns a highly collectable pin badge every month.

To help promote walking to school you can print one of our free resources:

Useful web sites to help promote walking to school:

Walking zones

Walking Zones are centred on your school and mapped to show zones for 5, 10 and 15 minute walking distances from your school gate(s). This Walking Zone Map can be used as a visual nudge to parents/carers showing them how close they may live to school and how little time it may take to walk. Families who live within these walking zones can be encouraged to walk or cycle to and from school, while those with longer journeys who choose to drive can be encouraged to park safely outside the inner zone and to walk the last five minutes of their journey, known as Park and Stride.

A walking zone map is most effective if it is customised by pupils, parents/carers and staff using their local knowledge. Here is an example of a base map before it has been updated Walking Zone Map [PDF 4.5mb] and guidance about how to customise a Walking Zone Map for your school Walking Zone Map guidance [PDF 627.2kb]. You can then set up a 5 Minute Walking Zone to help to encourage people to walk, cycle or Park & Stride to school using this 5 Minute Walking Zone toolkit [PDF 483.5kb] or an alternative example of how to set up a Walking Zone [PDF 2.3mb].

Ask the School Travel Team whether there is a Walking Zone Map for your school.

Walking buses

A Walking Bus is a group of children who walk to their school with the help of adult volunteers. More information about setting up an informal Walking Bus [PDF 946kb].

Useful Links: