£60m package to encourage walk and cycle to school schemes

Active Travel England have announced a £60m investment in a handful of schemes intended to remove cars from the school run and increase the training of children in the use of bikes.

It is claimed the funding will give two million more children access to walk to school and cycle training programmes over the next two years.

£50m is going to Bikeability, the Department for Transport’s national cycle training programme for schoolchildren in England. More than four million children have received training since the programme’s inception in 2007.

Living Streets has been awarded £5m to enable the charity to continue their ‘Walk to School Outreach’ programme in schools and to tackle barriers that prevent families choosing to walk to school, such as unsafe walking environments.

Last year Living Streets generated 14.3 million walk-to-school trips and removed over 2.5 million kilometres of car journeys from the road.  

£4m is being made available to extend Cycling UK’s Big Bike Revival programme to March 2025. The scheme has already engaged over 80,000 people of all ages, helping them learn cycling basics and feel more confident while pedalling.

£500,000 will fund an extension to the Modeshift STARS and Active Travel Ambassador schemes. The STARS program provides recognition for schools, businesses and organisations that show excellence in supporting and delivering active travel plans in their community. Active Travel Ambassadors work with secondary school students to encourage their peers to travel actively.

Stephen Edwards, Chief Executive of Living Streets, said: ‘This funding will support even more families to choose active ways to travel to school, boosting the nation’s health, reducing congestion and improving air quality.

‘Our programmes have been incredibly successful, playing a huge role in helping more children walk to school. We look forward to more pupils and schools joining us and reaping the benefits that come from swapping the school run for a school walk.’

The funding is part of a £60 million package aimed at helping families have more confidence to walk or cycle with their kids on the school run by funding initiatives that give more children better road skills and aim to help make it easier for parents to choose greener travel options.

Speaking in the announcement from Active Travel England, Chris Boardman, Active Travel Commissioner, said: ‘Giving kids transport independence and enabling them to walk, wheel or cycle on the school run is what they want, and what we want for them.

‘This £60 million funding package will help put the joy back into journeys and create a generation of young people who feel confident to make healthier and greener travel choices.’

Schools Minister, Nick Gibb, said: ‘The journey to and from school is an essential part of the school day for every child, and it’s encouraging that Active Travel England is investing in active travel initiatives for children and young people that can improve their health and wellbeing.

‘Many schools are already encouraging these initiatives locally and this is being supported with our School Sport and Activity Action Plan, which was published earlier this year.

‘The plan supports initiatives to increase active and safe travel to school such as Walk to School Outreach, School Streets and Bikeability – and these include inclusive delivery for children with special educational needs and disabilities.’


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top