Young People & Active Journeys in Leeds

An icon representing a bicycle, a person and a scooter overlaid onto a Leeds cityscape. Text underneath says 'Young People & Active Travel in Leeds' and above there are logos for Yorkshire Sport Foundation, Leeds City Council, and the University of Leeds

About the project

The Yorkshire Sports Foundation, University of Leeds, and Leeds City Council are teaming up to work with young people (ages 11-18) to trial new ways to access their extra curricular activities through active travel.

Active travel are modes of transport that involve some kind of physical activity, like walking or cycling. We want to know young people's perspectives on the attraction of, and barrier to, engaging in more active forms of travel around Leeds to contribute to a more sustainable future for the city. 

This participatory project will be working with young people from the city to act as ‘peer researchers’, who will engage with other young people to better understand the reasons behind choosing walking, cycling, scooting, and other modes of active travel.

The aim of this project is to create change with young people – to devise a project aimed at increasing levels of active travel and then piloting it.

Call for organisations to become involved

For this project, we would like to collaborate with approximately three Leeds-based organisations that support activities for young people and have an interest in becoming more sustainable.

This project aims to be inclusive, with a focus on giving voice and agency to young people. A small group of young people, who choose to take part, will be trained and supported to conduct research with their peers and others, such as parents and the organisation. Over the course of six months these young people will work with University of Leeds’s School of Education to develop: 

  1. an understanding of locality, home, and travel 
  2. create a set of actions to trial an improvement in active travel that is supported by the host organisation 
  3. to evaluate the trial
  4. present their findings to stakeholders.

If you would be interested in signing your organisation up to this project, please use this form:

Complete the express your interest form

Comments or questions? Please email us at

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you mean by active travel?
Active travel means making journeys by physically active means such as walking or cycling. Active travel helps promote overall good health, prevent obesity and helps Leeds achieve its commitment to climate action. 

What is the aim of the project?
We aim to train a group of young people to be ‘peer researchers’ and support young people in making changes to the local area to encourage more active travel.

How will organisations be involved?
Participating organisations will help promote this opportunity to their young people and support actions that participants may want to trial to improve active travel to your location. We may also ask to use your premises for workshops and training, if this is possible.

What will the young people who participate be expected to do?
The UK government is keen to promote active travel. One important aim of this project is to understand the diversity of perspectives on active travel, especially how easy or difficult it is for young people to participate in active travel. This will be achieved by participation of young people in a fun interactive workshop. A smaller group of young people will then be given the opportunity to receive training to co-create a research project aimed at improving active travel and trial some actions (we will provide the training and support needed to do this).

What are the benefits for the young people involved?
This project aims to empower young people to make changes within their communities and have their voices heard. In addition, those involved in undertaking the research will receive valuable training in research methods as well as the opportunity to develop a range of transferable skills beneficial for future work and study. Participants will be acknowledged in all final outputs of the research and can be named as co-authors (unless they wish to remain anonymous).

What are the benefits for organisations?
Organisations involved will contribute towards improving sustainable aims such as climate action and improving the health of young people. They will be supporting the young people they work with to have their voices heard, empower them to take action and develop their skills. Actions are likely to have a positive impact on how young people travel to your organisation, thus improving aspects such as congestion, air quality and parking around your premises.

What are the project timescales?
The project will run during Spring/Summer 2022 with a final completion date of September 2022.

Who are the researchers?
We are colleagues who work at the University of Leeds. Peter Hart works as a researcher in the School of Education, Morgan Campbell works as a researcher in the Institute of Transport Studies and Laura Cunliffe works in a learning and development role within the University’s people development team. Another researcher will be joining our team shortly, and all members of the research team will be DBS checked.