Getting young people active

We work with hundreds of schools, colleges and universities throughout the UK each year to encourage young people to walk and cycle, enabling thousands to travel actively and safely. 

Schools

We have more than 120 expert officers working intensively in over 1,400 schools across the UK and we are supporting several hundred more schools. Our officers have an enormous impact in the first year of working with a school, typically achieving:

  • Double the number of children cycling to school everyday;
  • Over a quarter of children regularly cycling to school; and
  • Fewer cars on the school run.

Read about the benefits and outcomes of our work with young people in Transforming Young People's Travel (pdf), including case studies from schools and communities.

We also have resources and events to help schools and professionals working with young people to encourage active, sustainable travel:

  • Suss It Out - 5 themed sheets, each with 10, 20 and 30-minute simple, snappy activities to inspire action and discussion on active travel, to fit in any part of a busy school day with no special resources necessary
  • Big Street Survey - a curriculum resource where young people study the area round their school to identify the good and the bad, draw up a manifesto for change and deliver it to local and national decision-makers to make it happen. Versions for all UK nations' curricula available
  • Moving Up - a guide for those working with 11- to 18-year-olds, setting out how to best to promote active travel at secondary schools, colleges and in the community. Welsh-language version also available.
  • Bike to School Week - run a bike to school week any time of year, or use 9-13 June 2014 to make it part of a national celebration of cycling to school

Universities and colleges

Our work so far with universities, teaching hospitals and further education colleges has made a real impact with measurable increases in the number of students and staff walking and cycling. We have worked in:

  • Leeds: University of Leeds and Leeds Metropolitan University
  • Lincoln: University of Lincoln
  • Nottingham: University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, New College Nottingham, Central College and Bilborough College
  • Stockton: University of Durham’s Queen’s Campus

To discuss how we can help you transform young people’s travel email education@sustrans.org.uk or call 0117 915 0100.

Our services

We offer a wide range of services including: 

Student engagement

Sustrans officers give students the skills and confidence to travel under their own steam. They do this through a planned programme of activities to increase walking and cycling, providing information, resources and encouragement.

School street design

Wherever possible we work with partner organisations to make streets around schools safer for children. This can include improving crossings or building new walking and cycling routes to link schools to their communities and to the National Cycle Network.  We can also deliver a community-led design approach.

School Mark

We are keen that schools continue to sustain the high levels of cycling they’ve achieved during the first year of working with our officers and we offer ongoing support through our School Mark accreditation scheme. Schools work with pupils, families and the community to build up cycling levels each year and achieve bronze, silver and gold School Mark awards. Download our Gold Mark report to find out more.

National campaigns and competitions

We run a number of national campaigns and competitions for schools each year. The Big Pedal is the UK’s biggest school cycling and scooting event. In 2011, almost 270,000 pupils made over 495,000 journeys by bike or scooter over three weeks. To find out more about the Big Pedal visit bigpedal.org.uk