Statistical Press Release – Travel to and from school by children in Northern Ireland 2021/22

Date published: 23 March 2023

The ‘Travel to School by Children in Northern Ireland 2021/22’ report is now available.

Statistical press release

This report, produced by the Analysis, Statistics and Research Branch (ASRB) of the Department for Infrastructure (DfI), presents findings from the 2021/22 Continuous Household Survey (CHS).

The publication is available on the ASRB website.

Key Points

Travel to and from School in Northern Ireland

Primary School

Post Primary School

  • Amongst post-primary school pupils, 45% travelled to/from school by bus as their main mode of travel, and a further 35% travelled to/from school by car.  Less than one in five (16%) pupils walked to/from school, while a small proportion took the train (1%).  
  • Since 2013/14, the proportion of pupils who walk to post primary school has decreased from 22% to 16% while the proportion who travel by bicycle, car and bus have remained around the same. 
  • Of those who walked to school, 89% of post primary school pupils walked all of the way to/from school.   Just over one in ten (13%) spent 10 minutes or less walking to and from school, almost half (48%) spent 11-20 minutes and around a fifth (22%) spent 21-30 minutes.
  • For post-primary school pupils, 54% lived between more than 4 miles from their school.  Of these pupils, two thirds (66%) travelled by bus and 29% were driven by car.

Notes to editors: 


  1. The information presented in this publication derives from the 2021/22 Continuous Household Survey (CHS) in relation to travel to school by children in Northern Ireland.  The CHS is considered to be a representative sample of the population at household level.
  2. Respondents were asked if children in the household attended primary school or post primary school. Parents/guardians were then asked a set of questions on behalf of their children. Of the 1,463 children whose parents were surveyed in 2021/22, 765 children attended primary school, 698 attended post-primary school.
  3. The report presents annual statistics on the main method of travel to/from school and the proportion of primary school and post primary school pupils who walk and cycle to school.
  4. The Department may use the information presented in this publication to inform and understand the story behind current trends and to assist in any future policy discussion and development.
  5. Note: Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, data collection for the 2020/21 survey moved from face-to-face interviewing to telephone mode with a reduction in the number of questions. Telephone interviewing has remained in place for the 2021/22 survey, therefore caution should be used when interpreting trend data due to methodology and content changes during the 2020/21 survey period.

Official Statistics

  1. This is an Official Statistics publication and therefore follows the Code of Practice for Statistics.  You can find further information about the Code of Practice on the UK Statistics Authority website.

Additional Information

  1. For more information relating to this publication, including additional analysis, breakdowns of data, or alternative formats please contact:
Analysis, Statistics and Research Branch,
Room 5.25,
Clarence Court,
10 - 18 Adelaide Street,
Town Parks
  1. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office at:
  2. Follow the Department on Twitter @deptinfra and on Facebook @DepartmentforInfrastructure
  3. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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