How to organise a bike bus

A group of school children cycle along a country park path together
Bike buses meet a fundamental need in communities
A bike bus can be a creative campaign tool in your community. Stephen Dominy explains how Cycling UK's new guide can help you bring local change

It's the start of the school summer term here in the UK - a great time to start up a bike bus for the kids at your local school. You can start small and informal - it could even just be your own children and a couple of school mates. Our guide will inspire you and take you through the steps required to get going. Roll on summer!



Bike buses are like foodbanks – they shouldn’t need to exist. However, they meet a fundamental need which really should be met by councils making better planning and highways decisions; the need for children to get to school safely and healthily under their own steam, without their parents and carers feeling that their only option is to get in their cars and drive.

Decades of bad decisions by local councils, of underinvestment in suitable highways infrastructure, and a lack of leadership from national governments have meant that, for many families, cycling to school can seem like too dangerous an undertaking.

Bike buses exist to counter this inaction and underinvestment. These rides protest the lack of existing safe cycle routes while highlighting the fact that we can't get children to school safely with current infrastructure, as well as providing a safe, cheap, healthy and environmentally responsible way for children to get to school. Bike Buses are a great way to get children and their families involved with a fun, energetic demonstration of what needs to improve in their local area.

Bike buses are demonstration rides, with a very practical outcome every time: pupils arriving at school, on time and fresh for the day. They have the potential to be more persuasive to councillors and council officers than written reports or dry data.

The ultimate aims are to persuade local councils to provide safe, accessible routes to schools, and to build confidence for children and parents to feel they can cycle safely on roads

In the long term there is evidence that participation in bike buses increases the likelihood of people cycling to school informally, and reducing the traffic levels around schools, with the attendant benefits in air quality, pupil health and congestion.

Download the guide below which will help you through the why, the where, the who and the how - equipping you to add your bus to the growing fleet.

Please let us know how you get on.