End the school run menace and get kids back on their bikes, Cycling UK urges as Bike to School Week launches

End the school run menace in Bike to School Week, says Cycling UK
End the school run menace during Bike to School Week
End the school run menace during Bike to School Week
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End the school run menace and get kids back on their bikes, Cycling UK urges as Bike to School Week launches

Cycle routes to schools must be made safer for children to end the school run menace blighting schools and pupils, Cycling UK is urging at the launch of this year’s Bike to School Week.

Nearly half of all primary school children and almost a quarter of secondary school children are driven to school causing a triple whammy of “pollution, congestion and danger”2.

Meanwhile only two per cent of children in England cycled to school in 2019 – a figure that has remained largely static for the last 25 years3..

Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s head of campaigns, said: “With the mass return to school after lockdown, we’ve seen the menace of the school run return with a vengeance creating traffic congestion, increased pollution and danger to the children themselves.

“Not only are children put at risk by so many cars on the roads, but their longer-term health is under threat with one in three pupils leaving primary school either obese or overweight.

“We need to act now to end this madness and we can do it by creating safer cycling routes to our schools.”

We need to make cycle routes to schools much safer for children if we’re going to tackle the problem of the school run menace

Duncan Dollimore, head of campaigns


Only 2% of children in England cycled to school in 2019
Only 2% of children in England cycled to school in 2019

In a survey carried out on behalf of Cycling UK in May, 38% of parents said they felt more confident about their children cycling on the roads since the lockdown.

Duncan said: “It’s clear that the perception of the danger on the roads is a major factor when it comes to parents letting their children cycle to school.

“When the roads were quieter at the height of the lockdown in the spring, more than a third of parents we surveyed had the confidence to let their children cycle on the roads.

“What’s blatantly obvious from this is that we need to make cycle routes to schools much safer for children if we’re going to tackle the problem of the school run menace.

“If councils plan and build dedicated cycle lanes and motor traffic free routes that look and feel safe to parents, they’ll let their children cycle to school, which is better for their health, better for the environment, reduces congestion and is the most cost effective form of transport investment.

“In July, the government made a commitment to tackling childhood obesity but when more than three million children4 are being driven to school it’s no surprise that the NHS is buckling under an annual £1.6bn bill to treat obesity and weight-related ill health.”

Bike to School Week is run by Sustrans from 28 September to 2 October showcasing the benefits of cycling to school.

ENDS

Contact information 

For more information contact the national Cycling UK Press Office on 01483 238 315, 07786 320 713 or email publicity@cyclinguk.org

Notes to editors 
  1. Cycling UK, the national cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling, whatever kind of cycling they do or would like to do. Over a century’s experience tells us that cycling is more than useful transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone. www.cyclinguk.org
  2. Published in Gear Change: A bold vision for cycling and walking by the Department for Transport in August 2020
  3. Cycling, motorcycling, school travel, concessionary travel and road safety, published by Gov.uk and updated August 2020:
  4. Calculated from 8.82 million school aged pupils in England, of which 37% are driven to school
  5. Bike to School Week is run by Sustrans from 28 September to 2 October showcasing the benefits of cycling to school.

 

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