Publication of method of travel to/from school by pupils in Northern Ireland 2015/2016

Date published: 23 February 2017

The Method of travel to/from School by pupils in Northern Ireland 2015/2016 is now available. This report, produced by the Analysis, Statistics and Research Branch (ASRB) of the Department for Infrastructure (DfI), presents findings from the 2015/2016 Continuous Household Survey (CHS). 2015/2016 was the third year that this question set was included in the CHS and this is the third such report produced. The publication is available on the ASRB website at: https://www.infrastructure-ni.gov.uk/articles/travel-school-0

DRD statistics publication

KEY POINTS

Main method of Travel to/from school

  • Among primary school pupils, just over three fifths (61%) were driven to/from school by car and less than a third (29%) usually walked to/from school. One in 12 (8%) pupils travelled to/from school by bus, while no pupils cycled or took the train as their main mode of transport to and from school. These figures are around the same as in 2014/15 (car; 61%, walking; 29%, bus; 9%, bicycle; 1%, train; 0%).
  • Primary school children living in rural areas were more likely to travel to/from school by bus (15%) than those living in urban areas (4%), while primary school pupils living in urban areas were more likely to walk to/from school (36% v 17%).
  • Among post primary pupils, almost half (49%) travelled to/from school by bus as their main mode of transport and a further three tenths (30%) were driven by car. Just under a fifth (18%) of pupils walked to/from school while a small proportion took the train (1%). There has been no real change since 2014/15 (bus; 48%, car; 30%, walking; 19%, train; 1%).
  • Post primary school pupils living in rural areas were more likely to travel to/from school by bus (66%) than those living in urban areas (39%). Those living in urban areas were more likely to walk to/from school (28%) than those in rural areas (2%).
  • Almost three tenths (29%) of primary school pupils walk or cycle to school as their main mode of transport compared with almost a fifth (18%) of post primary school pupils. These are around the same proportions as in 2014/15 when 30% of primary school pupils and 20% of post primary school pupils walked or cycled to school as their main mode of transport.

Walking to/from School

  • For those pupils who normally walk all or part of the way to/from school, 89% of primary school pupils and 82% of post primary school pupils walked all of the way to/from school.
  • Of the 198 primary school children who walked for all or part of the journey to/from school, almost two thirds (63%) spent 10 minutes or less per day walking to and from school, 22% spent between 11 and 20 minutes, 10% spent between 21 and 30 minutes and 5% spent more than 30 minutes.
  • Among the 126 post primary school children who walked for all or part of the way to/from school, 32% walked for 10 minutes or less, 31% walked for between 11 and 20 minutes, 21% walked for 21-30 minutes and the remaining 16% walked for a total of more than 30 minutes.

Cycling to/from school

  • Although not their main mode of travel, 1% of primary school pupils cycled to/from school in 2015/16 (1% in 2014/15).
  • 0% of post primary school pupils cycled to/from school in 2015/16 (1% in 2014/15).

Distance from home to school

  • More than half (55%) of primary school pupils lived 0-1 mile from their school compared to just under a quarter (23%) of post primary school pupils.  A similar proportion of primary and post primary pupils (26% and 22%) lived within 2–3 miles.
  • In contrast, more than half (55%) of post primary school pupils lived more than 4 miles from their school compared to 19% of primary school pupils.
  • Just under half (49%) of primary school pupils living between 0-1 mile walked to/from school as their main mode of travel with a further 47% being driven by car and a small proportion (1%) by bus.
  • Just under three fifths (59%) of post primary school pupils living between 0-1 mile walked to/from school as their main mode of travel, just over a third (34%) were driven by car and 4% travelled by bus.

Time spent per day on forms of exercise other than walking and cycling to/from school

  • Less than two fifths (37%) of primary school pupils and just over a quarter (26%) of post primary school pupils take part in more than 60 minutes physical activity over and above walking/cycling to school, thereby achieving the recommended daily exercise as advised by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO). There has been a fall since 2014/15 in the proportion of both primary school pupils (49%) and post primary school pupils (33%) who spend more than 60 minutes per day exercising.

Notes to editors: 

1. Background: The information presented in this publication derives from the 2015/2016 Continuous Household Survey (CHS) in relation to questions on method of travel to/ from school by pupils in Northern Ireland with particular emphasis on walking and cycling.  The CHS is considered to be a representative sample of the north of Ireland population at household level.

A total of 3,286 adults aged 16 and over were surveyed in 2015/2016.  Questions on method of travel to/ from school were asked if children in the household attended primary school or post primary school. Of the 1,142 children for whom parents were surveyed, 566 attended a primary school and the remaining 576 attended a post primary school.

Travelwise NI is the Department for Infrastructure’s (DfI) initiative to encourage people to choose sustainable transport options such as walking, cycling, public transport or car sharing.  Its main promotional activities are directed towards three groups of road users; Schools, Commuters and Employers.  DfI will use the information presented in this publication to monitor the effectiveness of the Travelwise NI initiatives that are aimed at increasing the proportion of children who travel actively to school

2.OfficialStatistics: This is an Official Statistics publication and therefore follows the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. You can find further information about the Code of Practice at: http://www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html

3. Further Information

Analysis, Statistics and Research Branch
Department for Infrastructure
Clarence Court
10-18 Adelaide Street
Belfast BT2 8GB

4. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office on 028 9054 0007 or e-mail: press.office@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned

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