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School Travel Plans

What is a School Travel Plan?

A School Travel Plan is a document that looks at the journeys that are made to and from school and investigates ways of making these safer and healthier. It can be geared to the needs of a primary, secondary, SEN school or nursery.

Each school's plan will be quite different as the environment, travel patterns and safety concerns will vary considerably from school to school. However, each Travel Plan should:

  • Identify the current travel patterns of pupils and staff.
  • Identify any problems caused by and experienced on the school journey.
  • Identify what concerns parents, pupils, staff and the local community about the journey to and from school.
  • Find initiatives to address these concerns and improve the current situation.

Aberdeen City Council has recently published guidance for schools looking to develop a Travel Plan:

Producing and implementing a School Travel Plan will fulfill the criteria for the Transport Topic of the Eco Schools Scheme. Many of the initiatives that you choose to implement as part of a Travel Plan will also be included as part of Health Promoting or Active Schools, such as walking and/or cycling schemes, parking campaigns etc.

Hands Up Survey

The Hands Up travel survey is a simple annual survey, coordinated by sustainable transport charity Sustrans, where children are asked how they normally travel to school. Aberdeen City Council requests that each school takes part in this survey during a specific week in September. Schools can use the survey results to update their own Travel Plans and see if initiatives they are undertaking are having a positive effect on school travel.

Bikeability Scotland

Bikeability is the new name for multi-level cycle training in Scotland, designed to give children the confidence to cycle safely on-road.

The 3 levels of Bikeability are:

  • 1: Ready Steady Bike: Level 1 teaches pupils basic competencies on a bike, such as balance, control skills and making turns. It is intended to be delivered to children in Primary 5 in a controlled environment such as a playground.
  • 2: Scottish Cycle Training Scheme: Level 2 teaches pupils how to ride a bike safely on the road and to navigate basic junctions. The training is intended to be delivered to Primary 6 children on-road in a risk assessed location.
  • 3: Go By Cycle: Level 3 teaches pupils how to navigate more complex junctions and plan journeys effectively. It is aimed at Primary 7 pupils, supporting them in making independent journeys and during the transition to secondary school.

For support with setting up Bikeability at your school or for any queries, please contact us at the address below.

Scooting to School Workshop and Guides

In recent years there has been an increase in the number of pupils travelling to school on scooters. To encourage this safely, Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council and Moray Council have jointly created a Scooter Skills Workshop. This has been designed to allow schools to run the program themselves and is adaptable to fit into the schools work program. Please feel free to use these resources and to provide any feedback.


  • Will Hekelaar
    Planner (Transport Strategy and Programmes)
    Business Hub 4
    Ground Floor North
    Marischal College
    Broad Street
    Aberdeen, AB10 1GY
    Phone: 01224 523324

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