Your LA must make suitable travel arrangements free of charge for your child if:

  • your child’s route to school is unsafe
  • they live within statutory walking distance of the school, and
  • your LA has not made arrangements for your child to attend a nearer qualifying school.

Your LA should assess the route at the times your child would be using it. This may mean in some cases your LA should assess it by having a representative walk the route at the times of day and on the days of the week that your child would travel, particularly if the safety of a route is challenged (para 32 of the Travel to school for children of compulsory school age 2024 Guidance).

When assessing whether a route can be walked in reasonable safety, your LA should also consider the whole of the route. This will include, for example, any sections that use footpaths or bridleways, as well as sections that use roads. It should consider a range of risks such as canals, rivers, ditches, speed of traffic and fields of vision for the pedestrian and motorist (para 30 of the Travel to school for children of compulsory school age 2024 Guidance).

The LA also should take into account all relevant factors, including:

  • the age of your child
  • whether risks might be less if your child were accompanied by an adult and whether that is practicable (the 2024 Guidance gives more information on when you are expected to accompany your child)
  • the width of the road and the existence of pavements
  • the volume and speed of traffic
  • street lighting, and
  • different conditions at different times of year.

If you haven’t been able to find the answer to your question on this page, see our FAQs.