Safer school travel

Planters used on a school streets scheme

Throughout the pandemic, we have been working to encourage safer travel to and from school, and doing what we can to make this possible.

We’re encouraging people to consider active travel as one of the safest, and healthiest, ways to make their school journeys.

What you can do:

Get active!

Walk cycle or scoot to school

Walking, cycling or scooting to school – even if it’s just once or twice a week – can have huge benefits for parents, carers and children.

Apart from being better your health, active travel is better for our environment too. It reduces air pollution caused by vehicle exhaust fumes, and contributes to a lower carbon environment.

Studies show children are more likely to be active when their parents are, and getting active outside has a positive impact on both mental and physical health.

If it’s too far to travel actively for all of your journey, why not ‘park and stride’ – park further away and walk the rest?

Not only is it easier to social distance on foot or bike, but there are extra benefits for our health, not to mention cleaner air in our communities thanks to every journey made actively, rather than in a car.

As more people discovered the benefits of walking and cycling last year, there’s never been a better time to try to make your daily routine more active.

Don’t just take our word for it – we spoke to some local families about why they chose a more active school run. Hear what they had to say:


If you need to use public transport to get to school, please continue to follow current guidance, including wearing a face covering (unless exempt), and social distancing.

Please plan your journey in advance, follow the guidelines, and allow more time to get to school.

How will you get to school flow chart

What is the council doing?

Nottingham City Council has long been committed to making active travel easier in the city, through things like cycle lanes, pedestrianised streets and by supporting initiatives like community cycling centres.

More recently, the council received funding from the Government – the Active Travel Fund – to reallocate roadspace to encourage people to walk and cycle. This has included a number of car-free school streets outside schools across the city.

These prevent cars from accessing the roads immediately outside school gates to create a safer environment for people social distancing.

We’re also working with charities Sustrans and Living Streets to offer support to schools, helping them to develop sustainable travel plans, with grants available to install cycle racks or other items to encourage more active travel.

Our road safety team can also help schools sign up for Modeshift STARS – a national award scheme which recognises schools that have demonstrated excellence in supporting sustainable travel, with the aim of improving the health and well being of children and young people.

Every school can participate in Modeshift STARS for free, and can access an online toolkit to help with creating and delivering travel plans.

We’ve also made lots of support available to help people get into cycling, and last year sent around 10,000 information packs to households in various areas of the city, containing information and advice on active travel.

Using public transport

Nottingham’s public transport operators have put in place a number of measures for passenger safety, including extra cleaning and markings to help social distance. Don’t forget to wear a face covering too, unless you are exempt.

Additional bus services have been put in place on the most popular school routes.

You can also buy your ticket using the operator’s app or a Robin Hood Card, to reduce unnecessary contact during your journey.