Travel to and from School by pupils in Northern Ireland 2019/20 has been published

Date published: 17 December 2020

The ‘Travel to and from School by pupils in Northern Ireland 2019/20’ report is now available. This report, produced by the Analysis, Statistics and Research Branch (ASRB) of the Department for Infrastructure (DfI), presents findings from the 2019/20 Continuous Household Survey (CHS).

Travel to/from school by pupils in Northern Ireland 2019/20 infographic

The publication is available on the ASRB website at:

Key Points

  • For main mode of travel for primary school pupils, more than two thirds (68%) were driven to/from school by car and 19% usually walked.  A further 10% travelled by bus, and 1% cycled to and/or from school.  These results are similar to 2018/19.
  • When compared to results from 2013/14, there has been a decrease in walking among primary pupils from 31% to 19%, and conversely, the proportion travelling by car has increased from 59% to 68%.
  • Amongst post-primary school pupils, almost half (48%) travelled to/from school by bus as their main mode of travel, and a further 33% travelled to/from school by car.  Less than one in five (17%) pupils walked to/from school, while a small proportion travelled by train (1%).  
  • Since 2013/14, there has been no real change in how post-primary pupils travel to school.

Walking to and from School

Of the pupils who normally walked to/from school;

  • 86% of primary school pupils and 77% of post-primary school pupils walked all of the way to/from school.   
  • 28% of primary school pupils spent 10 minutes or less walking to and from school and over a third (36%) spent 11-20 minutes.
  • Almost a quarter (23%) of post-primary school pupils spent 10 minutes or less walking to and from school, and a similar proportion (24%) spent 11-20 minutes. 
  • More than three-quarters of primary school pupils (76%) walk to school five days per week.  A similar proportion of post-primary school pupils walk to school (74%) five days per week.

Distance from home to school

  • Less than half (46%) of primary school pupils lived 0-1 miles from the school.  More than half (55%) of these pupils were driven by car and 38% walked to school. 
  • For post-primary school pupils, 49% lived between 0-3 miles from their school.  Of these pupils, almost half (45%) were driven by car, 35% walked and 19% travelled by bus.

Notes to editors: 


The information presented in this publication derives from the 2019/20 Continuous Household Survey (CHS) in relation to questions on method of travel to/ from school by primary and post-primary school pupils in Northern Ireland. The CHS is considered to be a representative sample of the population at household level.

The 2019/20 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 968 children for whom parents were surveyed, 523 attended a primary school and the remaining 445 attended a post-primary school.

This report provides annual statistics on the main method of travel to/from school with some specific analysis on journeys by walking and the distance pupils’ travel to/ from 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

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: Statistics Authority

Additional Information

For more information relating to this publication, including additional analysis, breakdowns of data, or alternative formats please contact:

Analysis, Statistics and Research Branch,
Room 4.13c,
Clarence Court,
10 - 18 Adelaide Street,
Town Parks

For media enquiries please contact the DfI Press Office 028 9054 0007.

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