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L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

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Helping children to travel actively (walking bus and cycling crocodile)

​​​​Active travel includes walking, cycling, running or other active modes of travel. The benefits of travelling actively include:

  • healthier children
  • improved behaviour and academic achievement
  • cleaner air
  • less congestion

Being active for health

According to the obesity, diet and physical activity report 2019 about 30% of year 6 children are categorised as either overweight or obese. Not doing enough physical activity is thought to be a factor in this. The UK Chief Medical Officers recommend that children should do at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise every day. The Jersey Children and Young People's Survey 2021 revealed that 82% of children and young people are not meeting this target. Travelling actively will help improve the health of children and young people.

Active travel also helps to improve mental health and wellbeing. Over half of parents interviewed on behalf of charity Living Streets said that their child’s mood always or sometimes improves after walking to school. The survey also found that almost half of the parents saw an improvement in their child’s behaviour after they have been physically active.

Being active for the environment

Transport is Jersey's largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 41% of Jersey’s carbon emissions. Car journeys alone are responsible for 17% of total emissions. Finding ways to reduce the emissions from transport is important if we are to meet the net-zero targets set out in the Carbon Neutral Roadmap. The Sustainable Transport Policy looks at transport in the Island including active travel. An Active Travel Primary Evidence Base Report was published in December 2021, and the Sustainable Transport Policy: Next Steps was published in December 2023. 

The WOW scheme (walk once a week) UK

What is WOW?​

WOW is a pupil-led initiative. Primary school children self-report how they get to school every day using a simple interactive travel tracker.​

Children who travel sustainably (walk/wheel, cycle or scoot) once a week for a month get rewarded with a badge. The challenge runs each month for the full school year.

Participating primary schools

WOW is currently being trialed in a few schools on-Island.

The Government of Jersey is offering funding for all Jersey primary schools to take part in WOW for the academic year 2023-24 and 2025-26. Schools can start the challenge at any time in the year.

Primary schools wishing to sign up should email

Why WOW?​

WOW is a behaviour change programme. It was introduced in line with the aims of Jersey’s Carbon Neutral Roadmap and Sustainable Transport Policy. 

Island wide, about 30% of children live in walking distance of their primary school. If more of these families travelled to school sustainably, there would be a direct reduction in Jersey’s carbon emissions.​​​

​WOW is easy to integrate into the daily classroom routine. Thousands of schools in the UK are already taking part in WOW. On average, WOW schools see a 30% reduction in car journeys and a 23% increase in walking rates.

More information is available on the Living Streets website​.

What is the walking bus?

Adults escort a group of children walking on their journey to and from school. The 'bus' walks along a set route collecting children at set stops on the way at set times. An adult at the front acts as the driver.

What is the cycling crocodile?

The cycling crocodile is very similar to the walking bus. Adults escort a group of children cycling on their journey to and from school. The crocodile cycles along a set route collecting children at set stops on the way at set times. An adult at the front acts as the driver.

Volunteer support

Both walking buses and cycling crocodiles usually depend on volunteer support. The number of adults needed depends on the number and needs of the children. Children are signed up in advance and a register sit taken so the leader knows how many adults are needed for each journey. 

All volunteers must complete a DBS. Training should be provided.

Getting a school involved

If you are interested in setting up either a walking bus or a cycling crocodile start by speaking to the school's head teacher. 

A letter should be sent out to parents:

  • to gauge parental interest and support for the scheme
  • for a lead walking bus operator, who will act as a point of contact for the walking bus or buses 
  • for volunteers to assist, this might be on a rota basis
  • to find how many children would use the walking bus or cycling crocodile
For a cycling crocodile schools will set rules for joining. This might include a cycling assessment for children. Schools might ask that bicycles are checked over for safety before they can join. 

Examples to help set up a scheme

For further information on how to set up a walking bus scheme:

Hampshire County Council school travel plans website
The Bright Kidz website


The scheme can provide benefits to children, parents, the school and the community.

The walking bus:

  • promotes healthy exercise
  • develops pedestrian and social skills
  • reduces traffic congestion around schools
  • improves air quality
  • reduces greenhouse gas emissions
  • saves time for parents
  • gives children independence, whilst in a safe environment

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