A bike bus is a group of people who cycle to school in a group. It’s called a “bus” because there is a set route and timetable so it can pick up more “passengers” along the way (yes, just like a standard bus, you wait for it: the bus doesn’t wait for you, otherwise we’ll never get to school on time!)

After a successful test in Term 4 of 2023, we are running the bike bus to Lathlain Primary School every Friday morning during school terms.

Here are a couple of examples from Europe and the U.S.




  • Getting children (and parents) to be more active. 
  • Getting children to socialise before school while burning off some energy, so they are more focused when they get to school.
  • Making our children feel safe while riding all together (a big group of five to ten children is much more visible than one or two children biking alone).
  • Reducing the number of cars around the school hence reducing traffic congestion and carbon emissions.
  • Have fun!


Sure is – here are some relevant articles:

Want Your Kid To Do Better In School? Bike Or Walk There: https://www.fatherly.com/news/want-your-kid-to-do-better-in-school-bike-walk-there

The Link Between Kids Who Walk or Bike to School and Concentration: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-02-05/the-link-between-kids-who-walk-or-bike-to-school-and-concentration

Bike riding in middle school may boost mental health, study finds: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2023/10/18/1206583788/bike-riding-in-middle-school-may-boost-mental-health-study-finds


Safety on the streets

Given that we are riding during peak hours and crossing some busy roads from Carlisle to Lathlain, we will mostly use footpaths. We’ll be riding on the road once in the school proximity, when the group of bikes is big and visible (strength in numbers), and riding in a row would simply be too slow.

Safety online

The Bike Bus route is public, but it doesn’t have any references to names, addresses, etc. We may take photos for the school’s website or social media – please let us know beforehand if you don’t want you or your child/ren’s photo taken.


Anyone with a bicycle! Every child should be riding with at least one parent/guardian, unless previous arrangements have been made with other parents.


Talk to your children and if you’re all in, join the Lathlain Bike Bus WhatsApp group by filling in the form below, so that we can stay in touch. Then go pump up your tires! Please note: The Bike Bus is currently parent led and there is no teacher supervision. Parents remain responsible for their children at all times.

Below is the planned route. We leave at 8am every Friday during term time from the roundabout between Oats Street and Bishopsgate Street in Carlisle. We usually get to school in about 35 minutes.

A Bike Bus is about the freedom to ride and having fun together, but we still need to follow some rules for everybody’s safety. Please have a read through before you join the Bike Bus.


Hey kids! Finish your breakfast earlier than usual so you have enough time for a quick ABC check on your bike:

  • A is for AIR – Make sure the tires are pumped up and aren’t soft.
  • B is for BRAKES – Squeeze the brakes and make sure they stop the wheels.
  • C is for CHAIN – Make sure the chain can go around freely, isn’t rusted and that it’s not skipping off the sprockets.

Once you are on the road, always remember to:

  • Ride in a straight line
  • If you are a fast rider, slow down and wait for the rest of the group. Younger/slower riders will love you for that!
  • Don’t overtake the Bike Bus driver. You wouldn’t go faster than the driver on a regular bus, would you?

Don’t forget to have fun!


Parents should have specific roles in the Bike Bus:

  • Driver: An adult that leads the group and makes sure kids are not wandering off.
  • Siders: Adults riding close to the centre of the street (but always on the left of the mid line). Children should ride between them and the verge.
  • Sweeper: An adult who rides at the very end of the Bike Bus, making sure that all the children keep up with the group.
  • Corker(s): One or more adults who will stop traffic with their bike at busy intersections so that the group can ride through. This is the safest and quickest way (so motorists don’t have to wait too long)

It would be a good idea to discuss these roles before starting (e.g. the day before the ride, or in the morning before leaving).

Other than that, please ensure your bike and the bike of your child/ren are in working order.

Needless to say, make you sure your child/ren know/s the basics of riding on the road. Be respectful to other people on the Bike Bus.

Is it free?
Yes, just like all the best things in life, the Bike Bus is free.

What about the way back in the afternoon?
Some students have after school commitments, while others will be picked up by their parents. Best thing to do is organise your children’s trip back home, even though there could always be someone to ride with. 

What if I have young children who can’t ride yet?
Some parents have trailers or long tail bikes – you could ask them if they can give your little one a lift.

I would like to join, but I don’t live close enough to the route.
Variations to the route will be considered to accommodate more families. Otherwise, you may want to consider transporting your bikes close to the route with a car and join from there.

Who is responsible for the Bike Bus?
Parents are responsible for their children. Parents should make sure children have a bike in working condition and they are able to ride safely. Lathlain Primary School endorses the Bike Bus but shall not be responsible or liable for any damage or loss of any kind occurring during a Bike Bus.

Parent/Guardian name(Required)
1) Your child(Required)
2) Your child
3) Your child