Published: 25th FEBRUARY 2021

Hands Up Scotland Survey

The Hands Up Scotland Survey looks at how pupils across Scotland travel to school and nursery. Established in 2008, the survey has been providing an insight into journeys to school for more than a decade and is the largest national dataset on school travel.

Sustrans infographic showing the top level results of the 2020 Hands Up Scotland Survey. The infographic shows that 438,605 school and nursery children took part in the 2020 survey, and 44.8% of people who were surveyed walk to school, with 3.8% cycling, 2.6% scooting and 14.1% using public transport.

Hands Up Scotland Survey 2020 provisional results

The provisional results of the Hands Up Scotland Survey 2020 are now available.

This release gives users earlier access to the dataset to support an understanding of the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on travel to school at a national and local authority level.

Download the Hands Up Scotland 2020 survey provisional results

The full release will be available to download from this web page in Summer 2021.

About the Hands Up Scotland Survey

The project is funded by Transport Scotland and is a joint survey between Sustrans and all 32 Scottish local authorities.

Each September, schools across Scotland complete the survey by asking their pupils ‘How do you normally travel to school?’.

Local authority officers distribute the survey to schools and return pupil responses to our Research and Monitoring Unit for overall collation, analysis and reporting.

A Parliamentary Order was passed designating Sustrans as Official Statistics Providers in the production of Hands Up Scotland on 1 June 2012. 

The results provide a valuable annual snapshot of school travel.

They are used by Sustrans, Transport Scotland and other groups to:

  • inform policy areas
  • monitor trends in school travel over time
  • and provide information relevant to a variety of health, transport and education initiatives. 
pupils in classroom raising their hands

Hands Up Scotland Survey data request

The Hands Up Scotland Survey team also produces reports containing information at a school level for local authorities.

To access these local authority reports to aid more in-depth analyses for a specific project or purpose, please submit a data request to the Hands Up Scotland Survey team.

The school-level data collected during the 2020 Hands Up Scotland Survey will be available for requests at the point of the full publication of Hands Up Scotland Survey 2020 results in summer 2021.

Download the Hands Up Scotland Survey Data Request Form.

Sharing of school-level data is at the discretion of the relevant local authority and Sustrans’ Research and Monitoring Unit.

Usual turnaround period for a simple dataset request is two to three weeks. More complex requests may take longer. 

Your submitted data request will be processed in accordance with the Hands Up Scotland Data Request Guidelines Terms and Conditions.

If you encounter any problems in submitting your data request, please contact the Hands Up Scotland Survey team.

Previous survey results

Hands Up Scotland 2019


Hands Up Scotland 2018

Hands Up Scotland 2017 


Hands Up Scotland 2016

Hands Up Scotland 2015


Hands Up Scotland 2014

Hands Up Scotland 2013


Hands Up Scotland 2012

Hands Up Scotland 2011


Hands Up Scotland 2010

Hands Up Scotland 2009


Hands Up Scotland 2008

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