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Hands Up Scotland Survey 2023: Pupils cycling to school in Scotland at highest ever recorded levels

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The Hands Up Scotland Survey examines how pupils travel to school – whether by foot, cycle, scooter or skating, park and stride, car, bus, taxi or other. 

Over one week in September, nursery children and primary and secondary school pupils are asked a question: “How do you normally travel to school?” 

Every year the findings paint a compelling picture and this time it is no different. 

Driving down as cycling, scootering and skating rise

Figures from the survey show that the proportion of pupils being driven to school dropped to 22.5% in 2023, the lowest level recorded since 2016. 

On the other side of the coin, 4.7% of pupils cycled to school in 2023 – the highest level recorded since the survey began. 

This indicates that the trend of cycling to school is on the rise, following an increase from 3.4% in 2014. 

Walking to school declined marginally compared to the previous year. However, it remains the most common mode of transport by far, standing at 41.3%. 

Meanwhile, travelling to school by bus reached its highest level since 2017 with 16.4% of pupils saying they now travel in this way. 

This suggests an upward trend as bus use has increased for a third year in a row.  

Alongside this, scootering and skating also jumped to a record high of 3.3% in 2023. 

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