What is active travel?

Active travel means walking, cycling, scootering, skateboarding or any similar transport where human energy is spent to travel. Using public transport almost always includes walking to and from destinations, and therefore also can be considered as active travel.

Research has shown that young people’s active travel to places they regularly go to provides significant benefits. In addition to the many important health benefits from physical activity, walking and bicycle riding can improve young people’s concentration. A 2012 study in Denmark found that young people who cycle or walk to school demonstrate a measurable increase in concentration that lasts for up to four hours.

What can you do to encourage young people?

Promoting Active Travel in Young People (PDF 729KB) is a resource to support communities and schools to encourage more young people to walk or cycle, and to involve young people in the development and implementation of an active travel initiative.

Develop an active travel plan

You can create a plan to encourage young people’s active travel by using the guide and supporting resources for community groups and schools.

Where are you starting from?

Use the Hands Up survey (PDF 82KB) to understand how the young people you are trying to influence travel and the modes of travel they use.

Active travel survey

The Active Travel Survey (PDF 366KB) will help you get an idea of what young people at your school or your community group think about active travel. Questions include how they travel to a venue, how often they travel to the venue and how far they live from the venue.

Review the current active travel facilities

The Facilities Review Checklist (PDF 271KB) will help you look at the facilities that can influence young people’s active travel. The checklist is designed to identify problems and opportunities which will inform actions an organisation can consider as part of an active travel action plan.

Additional support may be available from the Health Promotion Teams of your local health district, from your local Council or Local Government Agency (some of which employ Road Safety Offices), or Department of Education and Communities Road Safety Education Consultants.

Active travel planning for workspaces

Current as at: Thursday 15 October 2020
Contact page owner: Centre for Population Health