ALMOST half of Scottish school pupils travelled to school by walking, cycling, scootering or skating in 2022 according to a recent survey by a charity.

Sustrans Scotland, an organisation which works with communities to encourage active lifestyles, reported that while the percentage of pupils travelling actively to school has dropped slightly, it is still higher than the 47.8% in 2019.

Dr Cecilia Oram, behaviour change manager at Sustrans Scotland, said: “It’s encouraging to see that active travel to schools in Scotland remains higher than the levels recorded prior to the pandemic.

“Maintaining momentum with the positive shift towards healthier and more sustainable choices for the school run benefits everyone, and we’re pleased to see further evidence of changes in behaviour sticking within the results of the 2022 Hands Up Scotland Survey.

“Another notable finding within the results is the rise in bus use for a second year in a row, which potentially suggests the free bus pass for under 22-year-olds has encouraged more young people to take public transport.”

The findings form part of the annual Hands Up Scotland Survey (HUSS) which began in 2008. Funded by Transport Scotland, the survey was carried out in September 2022 by Sustrans’ Research and Monitoring Unit.

The survey also reveals that the number of pupils getting the bus to school has risen for the second year in a row with 15.8% of pupils saying they now travel to school this way.

This is an increase from 14.5% in 2021 and is comparable to pre-pandemic levels.

Walking remains by far the most popular way of getting to school, with 42.6%. This too remains higher than the 2019 pre-pandemic level of 41.0%.

Cycling is at its third highest level of the past ten survey years at 3.9%, which is lower than the 4.0% recorded in 2021, but is still higher than the 3.5% in 2013.

The proportion of school pupils scootering and skating to school has seen little variation since 2013.

The number of pupils being driven to school in a car has decreased from 23.2% in 2021 to 23.1% in 2022, however this figure remains lower than the pre-pandemic level of 23.8% in 2019.

In total, 24.8% of school pupils surveyed in 2022 said they normally travel to school by car or taxi.

The survey was carried out by Sustrans’ Research and Monitoring Unit in partnership with all 32 Scottish local authorities.