Walking routes to schools

It is a parent's responsibility to ensure that their child gets to and from school at the appropriate time each day and to put in place the necessary travel arrangements.

Local authorities are, however, required by law to make school travel arrangements where a route to school not available for a child to walk to school in reasonable safety. If the nature of the route is such that the child cannot reasonably be expected to walk to school, even when accompanied by a responsible person, then the Local Authority (LA) will deem it ‘unavailable’ and will be under a statutory duty to provide travel assistance, as set out in its Home to School Travel Policy (PDF, 448KB). In determining what is reasonable, the Local Authority takes into account the latest national guidance issued by Road Safety GB. 

To ensure that all children have the opportunity to walk to school where possible, routes need to be reassessed to take account of highways changes. Parents and schools can also request that a route is reassessed. Assessments do not determine whether a route is safe or dangerous as all roads may present some element of road safety risk. Instead, the assessment determines whether free transport should be provided by the Local Authority because a particular walking route presents exceptional road safety hazards.

Full details about the assessment procedure can be found below:

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Page last reviewed: 13 July 2023