Walking, cycling and driving to school - Coronavirus

On this page you can find guidance on walking, cycling and driving to school during coronavirus (COVID-19).

Walking or cycling to school

Walking and cycling to school is a great way to avoid the traffic, get some exercise and not add to the congestion at the school gate.
There are many good school routes in Aberdeenshire; some are designated cycle routes, shared use paths or just quiet roads. We suggest you plan a route to your school in advance and remember that the roads may be busier during school drop off and pick up times.

We suggest you consider the availability of crossing facilities on your route, such as: pelican crossing, crossing patrollers and traffic islands. If none of these are available, consider crossing in places with good visibility, away from parked cars and corners and ensure to teach your child how to identify a safe place to cross.

Cycle and scooter storage may be available at your school, you are free to use these but the school will not be held responsible for any loss or damage to any bikes or scooters left so it may be worthwhile investing in a bike lock.

It is worth making sure your child’s bike is in good condition. View a bike check tool provided by Sustrans.

Useful bike equipment includes:

  • bike lights – can be helpful in darker nights
  • bike bells – teach your child to use this if you are approaching pedestrians from behind
  • helmets
  • bright clothing

If you feel your child is not ready to walk or cycle to school on their own and if you can find the time to walk with them, it will provide a great opportunities to learn essential road safety skills and prepare them for when they are ready to travel independently. The age your child can walk or cycle on their own is very much a parental decision and will differ with each child.

We have cycle route maps for main towns in Aberdeenshire available which provide further cycle route information.

Driving to school

If using a car plays an essential part of your journey, you can help by:

  • Planning ahead and giving yourself enough time to make the journey and park responsibility around the school
  • If possible plan to ‘park and stride’ which means parking five minutes away from the school gate and walking the rest of the way, this means your car will not add to the congestion and take up limited parking around the school
  • Most streets around the school building are congested and have limited parking options therefore parking further away greatly helps increase safety for pupils who are walking or cycling to school
  • Choosing a responsible park and stride location will differ with each school. There may be available car parks within a five to ten minute walking distance of your child’s school that you can make use of.
  • You can park on residential streets but please be considerate and do not block driveways, block access or drop kerbs or park on corners causing visibility issues
  • Remember that drop off means drop off, please don’t use this for parking
  • While waiting in your car, please switch off your car engine as this helps to keep the air clean

If your child's school has a car park for visitors or even a drop off point take the time to familiarise yourself with how the car park is laid out. Your school will be able to answer any questions you may have about this and will be happy to speak with you.