If you feel the route from your home to your catchment or nearest school is unsafe for your child to walk accompanied as necessary, you could be entitled to free school transport.

Read our walked route assessment guidance

Before you request an assessment, it is important to read the:

Request a walked route assessment

Complete the form to arrange an assessment.

Walked route assessment guidance

National guidance

National guidance is provided by Road Safety Great Britain (RSGB) for those tasked with assessing the safety of 'walked routes to and from schools' to determine the provision of free school transport for persons under the Education Act 1944 amended 1996.

Scope of guidelines

The scope of the guidelines is limited to the risks resulting from the interaction between pedestrians and traffic. It does not consider personal security.

What the assessment assumes

The assessment assumes a child is accompanied as necessary. It also considers that the child and parent will be wearing fluorescent and reflective jackets, particularly on roads with no street lighting (case law presumes a child is accompanied, as necessary as stated in the Education Act 1996).

Street lighting

The assessment doesn't consider whether or not there is street lighting.

Lack of footpaths

If there is footpath then an assessment of traffic flow is made first. A road with heavy traffic flow must have continuous adequate footway provision. Roads with light traffic flow must have adequate step-offs with good sightlines. Roads with low traffic flow do not require step-offs, but should have sufficiently good sightlines.


A step-off is a place where a pedestrians can easily step off the roadway onto reasonably even and firm surface.

High flow traffic

High flow traffic is where a road has a traffic flow of more than 840 vehicles in a one hour period.

Medium flow traffic

Medium flow traffic is where a road has a traffic flow of between 400 and 840 vehicles in a one hour period.

Low flow traffic

Low flow traffic is where a road has a traffic flow of under 400 vehicles in a one hour period.

Difficulty crossing a road

We assess the difficulty of crossing a road by applying a gap analysis for the assessment. 

Gap analysis

A gap analysis is where we record the number of gaps in traffic flow in a 5 minute period, which is greater than the road crossing time. Four such gaps in a 5 minute period are considered acceptable.

Collision history

Yes, a 3 year collision history is provided for the complete route and forms part of the overall assessment.

Vehicle speed

If the initial assessment of the route and collision history indicates there is a possible speeding issue and assuming there is sufficient vehicle flow in order to assess traffic speeds, then we will conduct a traffic speed survey.

Road Safety, Education, Training and Publicity

Name: Road Safety Education, Training and Publicity
Email: roadsafety@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk
Full contact details