Trains hit the buffers

FEET, bus and car are the principal means children use to reach school. Only one in 100 secondary pupils travels by train and a similar number on their bikes, according to the latest survey.

As expected, primary pupils tend to live closer to school and fewer take advantage of subsidised transport. Just over 10 per cent are on funded fares, a figure similar to the previous four years.

Encouragingly, more than half of those in the survey (57 per cent) walk to school. But 27 per cent take a lift in a car. In rural areas, more are ferried to school.

In secondary, a little over 28 per cent are on free transport, again similar to previous years. As older pupils usually have further to travel, more qualify. Fewer than half (46 per cent) walk to school, with 37 per cent travelling by school bus.

The highest percentages of subsidised fares are in the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland.

A total of 146,500 pupils receive free transport, or 19.7 per cent of all pupils in local authority schools.

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