School travel

We will support our children to get active and arrive at school ready to learn by promoting walking, wheeling, cycling and scooting. By increasing physical activity on their way to and from school, pupils can experience improved mood, increased energy levels and greater confidence, as well reduced feelings of strees and anxiety. Increasing the number of pupils who travel to school actively will also benefit the wider community and improve safety by reducing traffic levels and parking demand on streets around each campus.     

Free support and resources for all schools

East Lothian Council's Outdoor Learning service deliver the Bikeability Scotland national cycle training programme at levels 1, 2 and 3. Bikeability Scotland Instructor training is among a number of additional courses available to schools for free and added regularly to the Outdoor Learning training calendar

We also support schools to participate in national Walk to School Week, which takes place in May, by funding classroom packs and other resources. To register your school for Walk to School Week 2023, or discuss other ways to promote walking within the school community, email our school travel team.

Sustrans Big Walk and Wheel, which takes place in March, is the UK's largest inter-school active travel challenge, inspiring pupils to walk, wheel, scoot or cycle. 15 schools registered for Big Walk and Wheel 2022, with schools from Musselburgh and Aberlady winning a live bicycle stunt team performance. Registration for the next Big Walk and Wheel will open in early 2023.  

Funding is available for school cycle and scooter parking through Cycling Scotland's Cycle Friendly Primary School and Cycle Friendly Secondary School Programmes, which also offer accrediation and award schemes for schools that want to boost cycling rates among pupils. Schools can apply to these programmes independently, or receive support from our School Travel team, who can provide advice and help co-ordinate applications for funding. Contact our school travel team for more info.    

The Junior Road Safety Officer (JRSO) programme puts children in control of highlighting road safety issues around their school. Our School Crossing Guide Supervisor provides JRSO support to all East Lothian schools including resources, training and events. Email us for more information on the JRSO programme.  

Dedicated support is also available to any school that is developing, reviewing or updating a school travel plan. Our school travel team can provide template travel plans, example survey questions, guidance and one-to-one support towards travel plan objectives.

Hands Up Scotland Survey school travel statistics for East Lothian

Established in 2008 the Hands Up Scotland Survey (HUSS) looks at how pupils across Scotland travel to school and nursery. The most recent HUSS took place in September 2021, with a summary of those results included below.

Primary schools

28 Primary schools (85.3%) returned data in 2021, up from 24 in 2020. The survey was completed by 6,399 pupils, also up from 6,138 the previous year. 

Walking was the most common mode used (44.5%), followed by car (16.5%), park and stride (13.6%), cycle (12.3%), scooter/skate (9.2%) and bus (2.9%). 

Secondary schools

4 Secondary schools returned data in 2021, down 1 from 2020. This saw 2,721 pupils complete the survey, down from 3,329 the previous year. 

Walking was the most common mode used (50.9%), followed by bus (29.1%),  cycle (7.8%), car (7.5%), park and stride (2.9%), taxi (0.7%), other (0.7%) and scooter/skate (0.5%).