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Community Walking Bus

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The Walking Bus project is designed to encourage people from a specific demographic in the community to walk together to a centralised location, for example, it could support older people to walk to a day centre. It can be adapted to support a range of communities, such as day centres, community centres, places of worship, libraries, places of work, etc.

Working closely with a particular centralised location, the bus will use fully risk-assessed circular routes within the local area that participants can join on their journey. It will use as many quiet streets as possible, avoiding main roads, for safety and to make the route more pleasant and less polluted.  

The bus can run to and from the location once a week (e.g. on Fridays or for a particular event), throughout spring and summer, totalling roughly 20 outings, allowing for good weather and bank holidays. The aim is for the bus to become an event that participants will look forward to and want to get involved with. Movement through the streets can be managed by a project leader and volunteers. Depending on its size, the bus can include Hi-Vis vests with logos to communicate the function of the bus to other pavement users. 

Engaging in regular walks encourages physical activity and social interaction, helping those who may be dealing with stress or anxiety. The aim of the bus is to foster a culture of active travel through walking over the course of the project, and beyond, involving participants of all ages, thereby increasing the physical health, wellbeing, and mental focus of the participants. 


Target audience and engagement


  • The main target audience for this project are members of your chosen community (e.g. people that attend a particular day centre)
  • In co-ordination with the chosen community, the project will organise promotional meetings and engage with people in the community using word of mouth, posters and flyers. Local publicity and social media will also be utilised.  There could also be information sessions about the project




  • Medium to large (25 - 100 participants per year)
  • Geographically – anywhere there are safe, green, open spaces, footpaths and walkways, such as parks and quiet streets


Equipment needed

  • Printed and/or digital map of the route and pick up points
  • Hi-Vis vests
  • Waterproof jackets (if needed)
  • Advertising materials (posters and flyers)


Resources needed


- Project Leader:

  • Form relationships with community and recruit participants
  • Oversee project, ensure the participants feel safe and enjoy their experience
  • Ensure all funding criteria and documentation is met
  • Run risk assessment for safeguarding, injuries and to identify any other concerns which may affect project delivery
  • Plan and manage the walking routes that will be the Walking Buses
  • The project lead should have the requisite level of DBS, understand health and safety needs and preferably be first aid trained (if not another person going on the walks should be first aid trained)
  • Ensure health & safety, and safeguarding policies are in place, robust, and adhered to
  • Gather feedback from participants and parents/carers to plan for future sessions and projects

- Volunteers:

  • Provide support to help run the Walking Bus
  • Help participants on the Walking Bus, provide encouragement and answer queries
  • Training opportunities for teachers and parents to become volunteers

- Storage Space:

  • You will need somewhere to store equipment (Hi-Vis vests and waterproof jackets, etc.). This could be at the centralised location (i.e. community centre), in an existing office, or perhaps another local business that has a storage facility. Try to keep this as close to the location of the community it serves (i.e. day centre) as possible

- Publicity:

  • Flyers and posters for publicity of the Walking Bus


Estimated project costs


  • Admin, planning and management time   £800 - £1,000
  • Walking Guide/Project Leader   £800
  • Volunteer travel expenses   £120
  • Printing flyers   £160
  • Waterproof jackets   £975
  • Hi-Vis vests   £200
  • Enhanced DBS checks (if needed)   £150 - £200
  • Public Liability Insurance (if needed)   £170
  • Storage (if needed)   £250
  • Badges (20p x 100) £20


Top tips/Ley Learnings


  • Engage with and listen to every participant; they will provide a valuable insight into how you can improve your project in the future
  • Walks should be planned to adapt to participant needs, offering options for less active participants or those who are initially harder to engage
  • Revise risk assessments of the routes at intermittent points to ensure walks run safely and more smoothly
  • It is good to measure whether the project has encouraged participants to walk more. This is done by a ‘hands up’ survey where participants are asked to confirm or not, certain statements about their view of walking
  • Take advantage of the training programme that is offered by Walking and Cycling Grants London


Maximising local contacts

  • Engage with any existing community networks you may have to recruit participants
  • Utilise networks to get in-kind support (volunteer organisations and local centres, community centres, schools etc.)


This project idea was provided by Transport for London - Twitter Facebook Instagram - Youtube


If you decide to run your own version of this project in your community, please email us at We love to hear that we are inspiring people to walk and cycle.