Active School Travel in Northern Ireland

Fantastic bike art at St Macartan's Primary in Clogher

Fantastic bike art at St Macartan's Primary in Clogher

Pupils from Portaferry Integrated traveled to Strangford to join pupils from St Joseph's Primary for a joint adventure walk

Pupils from Portaferry Integrated traveled to Strangford to join pupils from St Joseph's Primary for a joint adventure walk

The joy of learning to cycle independently for the first time is evident in the ear-to-ear smile on this child from Ballycraigy Primary

The joy of learning to cycle independently for the first time is evident in the ear-to-ear smile on this child from Ballycraigy Primary

Families from Victoria College Prep enjoy the morning sunshine on their walking bus

Families from Victoria College Prep enjoy the morning sunshine on their walking bus

Pupils from Bloomfield Primary are having fun as they practice their cycle skills

Pupils from Bloomfield Primary are having fun as they practice their cycle skills

Congratulations to St Patrick's Primary in Waterfoot for achieving the Sustrans School Mark Silver Award

Congratulations to St Patrick's Primary in Waterfoot for achieving the Sustrans School Mark Silver Award

National Standard on-road cycle training underway at Hardy Memorial Primary in Richhill

National Standard on-road cycle training underway at Hardy Memorial Primary in Richhill

The Active School Travel Programme is an exciting initiative for schools who wish to see more of their pupils choosing an active and healthy journey to school.

Sustrans is being funded by the Department for Infrastructure and the Public Health Agency to continue delivering the Active School Travel Programme across Northern Ireland until 2021. Currently our Schools Team is working with over 280 schools.

I have been involved in numerous programmes over my twenty-five years of teaching and this one has been the best so far.

- Teacher from participating school

Increasing the number of children who regularly walk, cycle or scoot to school has numerous benefits including:

  • increased physical activity levels resulting in improved health and well-being
  • reduced congestion and pollution around schools 
  • improved academic performance and attendance rates
  • increased road safety awareness
  • increased confidence, self-esteem and independence for young people.

This initiative provides schools with a planned programme of activities throughout the year, both in and out of the classroom, as well as direct hands-on support from a dedicated Sustrans Active Travel Officer. The fundamental aim of the programme is providing schools with the skills and knowledge to get more children walking, cycling and scooting as their main mode of transport to school.

Sustrans’ Active School Travel Programme is a fantastic initiative. Not only does it benefit the children's health but it's also fun and enjoyable for the children.

- Teacher from participating school

Take a look at the exciting results that the Active School Travel Programme is achieving [pdf 1.31MB].

From September 2013 to June 2016, the number of children travelling actively to school increased from 40% to 55% at participating schools, while the number of children being driven to school decreased from 54% to 42%. This is a remarkable 38% increase in the number of children walking, cycling and scooting to school. 

How your school can join the Active School Travel Programme

We will be recruiting schools again in the 2018 Spring Term to join the free programme in the next academic year beginning in September 2018. In the meantime, please look through our Active School Travel Programme FAQs to learn more about the programme. 

Check out our most recent Active School Travel Newsletters - Summer Term 2017

Contact us to find out more about our programme for schools in Northern Ireland.

Check out our range of free resources, events and guidance for teachers to help you make active journeys to school easy, fun and inspiring.

If you are an organisation, local authority or government body who would like to work with us, find out more about our services in education and with young people.