Publication of Travel to and from School by Pupils in Northern Ireland 2018/2019

Date published: 16 January 2020

This report, produced by the Analysis, Statistics and Research Branch (ASRB) of the Department for Infrastructure (DfI), presents findings from the 2018/2019 Continuous Household Survey (CHS). 2018/2019 was the sixth year that this question set was included in the CHS and this is the sixth such report produced.

Travel to and from School 2018-19
Publication of Travel to and from School by pupils 2018-19

The publication is available on the ASRB website at:


  • For main mode of travel for primary school pupils, two thirds (67%) were driven to school by car, and 22% usually walked to and/or from school.  A further 9% took a bus, and 1% cycled to and/or from school.  These results are similar to 2017/18.
  • When compared to results from 2013/14, there has been a decrease in walking from 31% to 22%, and conversely an increase in those travelling by car from 59% to 67%.
  • Amongst post-primary school pupils, almost half (48%) travelled to/from school by bus as their main mode of travel, and a further 35% travelled to/from school by car.  Around one in seven (14%) pupils walked to/from school, while a small proportion took the train (2%).  
  • Since 2013/14, the proportion of post-primary school pupils who walk to/from school has decreased from 22% to 14%. There has been no real change in travel by bicycle, car or bus.

Walking to and from School

  • Of the primary school pupils who normally walked to school, 85% of these walked all of the way. 
  • Over a quarter (27%) of primary school pupils spent 10 minutes or less walking to and from school.  28% spent more than 30 minutes.
  • Around 3 in 5 of primary school pupils who walked to and from school, did so every day. 

Distance from home to school

  • Half (50%) of primary school pupils lived 0-1 miles from the school.  For more than half (54%) of these pupils, the main mode of travel to school was car.  Walking was the main mode of travel for 42%. 
  • For post-primary school pupils, 46% lived between 0-3 miles from their school.  For almost half (46%) of these pupils the main mode of travel to school was car. 29% walked and 23% travelled by bus. 

Notes to editors: 


  1. The information presented in this publication derives from the 2018/2019 Continuous Household Survey (CHS) in relation to questions on method of travel to/ from school by pupils with particular emphasis on walking and cycling.  The CHS is considered to be a representative sample of the population at household level.
  2. The 2018/19 survey was based on a random sample of 9,000 domestic addresses drawn from the Land and Property Services list of addresses and interviews were sought with all adults aged 16 and over in these households.  Questions on method of travel to/ from school were asked if children in the household attended primary school or post primary school. Of the 1,007 children for whom parents were surveyed, 543 attended a primary school and the remaining 464 attended a post-primary school.
  3. This report provides annual statistics on the main method of travel to/from school and, in particular, on the proportion of primary school and post primary school pupils who walk and cycle to school. This information may be used to monitor the effectiveness of the Initiatives that are aimed at increasing the proportion of children who travel actively to school. 

Official Statistics

  1. This is an Official Statistics publication and therefore follows the Code of Practice for Statistics.  You can find further information about the Code of Practice at:
  2. Further Information
    For further information please contact:
Analysis, Statistics and Research Branch
Department for Infrastructure
Clarence Court                                       
10-18 Adelaide Street
Belfast BT2 8GB
  1. For media queries please contact the DfI Press Office on 028 9054 0007 or email
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