Car-free days

Car-free days

About this activity

Suitable for all pupils, staff and families.

A car-free day encourages pupils, staff, parents and carers to walk, cycle, scoot or use public transport to get to school.

Plan a car-free day once a year or term to prompt your school community to discover a new way to get to school and potentially change their travel habits for good. The day can also help to ease congestion around the school gates and improve road safety and Air Quality.

Encourage those who need to drive to park their cars a distance from school and walk the last part of their journey. This could be part of Park and Stride or Car-free zone – activities which could be launched at the same time as your first car-free day.

Involve your Junior and Youth Travel Ambassadors (JTA/YTA) and eco council to support you with organising and promoting the day.

World Car Free Day takes place annually on or around 22 September. You could plan your first car free day for this date and be part of an international movement. Visit the World Car Free Day website for information, ideas and resources to help you to plan the day.

How to evidence your activity

  • Involve your borough officer: Share your ideas, agree your targets and discuss any challenges you face
  • Record the feedback from your pupils, parents and staff. Take pictures outside the school of pupils and staff travelling actively
  • Sign in to STARS to add your story. Explain the activity, include your pupils’ feedback and photographs. Also include any posters, letters and promotional materials produced to support the activity

Activity steps

Know your numbers
Do a hands up survey to find out how many pupils and staff travel to school by car
Set your targets
Share the results with your senior leadership and borough officer, discuss the options and select a date for the car-free day
Promote the event
Spread the word about the event in your school's newsletter, on notice boards and in assemblies. Involve your JTA/YTA group with creating posters, stickers or banners
Go car free
Enjoy the day! Take pictures to show the impact the event has on how pupils and staff travel
Check for success
Get feedback from parents and families. Did they enjoy it? Find out if there were any issues and how you could support them to leave theirs car at home more regularly
Tell your story
Feedback to your borough officer and add your story to the STARS website. Share pictures and stories from the day in your school’s newsletter


  • Smarter driving

This activity counts towards:

  • Travel activity

How it helps

  • Promotes positive travel behaviours
  • Encourages whole school participation
  • Eases congestion at schools gates
  • Improves Air Quality around schools


Useful links, templates and case studies to support this activity