Cycle to School: Tips to Get You Started

Children cycling on a winter day

24th September 2023

Whether they’re walking and wheeling, or cycling, making an active journey to school comes with many great benefits to your child:

  • It teaches them road safety and encourages independence as they get older. 
  • It improves physical fitness and wellbeing, and makes activity part of a daily routine.
  • Fewer journeys by car improves air quality and reduces congestion around schools.
  • Save the cost of petrol for those daily journeys – it adds up!
  • Gives them valuable time to socialise and enjoy the outdoors with family and friends. 

Top Tips for Walking or Cycling to School:

1. Plan your route in advance

Plan ahead by finding the quickest and safest route from your home to school. Use Explore Kent’s town walking and cycling maps to find traffic-free routes, often through green spaces where you can enjoy the sights and sounds of nature as part of your daily commute.  The Kent Connected app will also help you find cycle routes near you and plan sustainable journeys.

2. Find a group

Making the journey with a group, whether that’s friends or family, gives you a chance to socialise and spend quality time together while feeling safe and confident. Find out if your school has a walking bus scheme – a volunteer-supervised group of children who walk to school along a set route picking up “passengers” at specific points. This is a fun, healthy and sustainable way to get to school!

3. Make sure your bike is in good condition

Check out these bike repair tips to make sure your bike is in working order. Avoid getting a bike that is too big for a child so they can “grow into it”. Safety is most important, so children need a bike that fits their current size and cycling ability.

4. Improve your cycling skills

Want to try cycling to school, but either your children or yourselves need to brush up on your cycling skills? Bikeability is offered in primary and secondary schools across Kent, and Kent County Council offers a range of affordable cycle training courses for people aged 17+ years. Whether you’re new to learning to ride, or want to improve your road confidence Kent Cycling Training courses can help.

5. Have fun together

Make the school run part of the day you and your children can enjoy. Choose different routes, or mix it up by walking, cycling or scooting to school. Enjoy the time spent outdoors in the fresh air, spot signs of nature as the seasons change, talk and play games. Just be safe and stay aware of surroundings especially near roads.

6. Do your part to reduce traffic around school gates

If walking or cycling is not a viable choice for your school journeys, consider parking a few minutes away from the school and walking the remaining distance – you’ll enjoy some fresh air and avoid getting stuck in congestion close to the school.


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