Active travel gets children moving every day. Active travel involves walking, cycling, scooting or other active ways of getting to or from school, for the whole journey or as part of the journey along with other travel modes, such as public transport.
What is active travel
Being active on the way to and from school contributes significantly to a student's daily physical activity and increases social and community connectedness. It also has many other benefits including:
- increasing social interactions with family and friends
- fostering school and community connectedness
- supporting mobility independence and familiarity with the neighbourhood
- reducing road and public transport congestion and pollution.
Schools can support active travel by:
- encouraging parents to support their children to actively travel to school
- providing facilities that support active travel to and from school for students, staff and families (e.g. bike racks, bike shelters)
- offering bicycle education programs and guidance on safe routes to school
- working with families and local councils to provide for safe and convenient routes to schools.
Strategies and approaches
These strategies and resources provide suggestions for how schools can support active travel.
Policy and leadership
- Promote and encourage active travel
- Raise awareness amongst staff, students and parents about the benefits of active travel and ways to overcome known barriers using positive, structural language
- Run promotional events at your school that promote active forms of travel
- Create school drop-off zones located within walking distance from schools that help students to use active travel for part of the school journey.
Teaching and learning
- Prepare students to travel actively and independently
- Deliver a comprehensive road safety education program as part of the
Health and Physical Education curriculum or
- Discuss safe routes to schools and support students to feel confident in engaging in active travel to school
- Talk with students about the benefits of active travel from a sustainability, health and social perspective
- Deliver bicycle education programs.
- Work with local council to create a supportive built environment around schools to facilitate safe active travel (e.g. streets closed to cars, one-way traffic, designated cycle lanes, widened footpaths, reduced speed, etc.)
- Work with local council to identify needs for school crossing supervisors.
Municipal Association of Victoria can support schools to work out the best local council contact
- Bicycle Network's
Ride2School program works with schools and councils to implement street closures to cars to enable safe travel environments for students.
- Support students to travel actively
- Improve school infrastructure that supports active travel (e.g. covered, safe storage for bicycles and scooters that is accessible and visible).
Ride2School program works with schools to help identify their individual barriers and implement initiatives to address them, such as bike parking
- Funding is available through Department of Transport (VicRoads) Community Road Safety Grants to support Bike Ed and active travel to schools
Victorian School Building Authority should be contacted by schools looking for support and funding opportunities when planning to improve school infrastructure.