Encourage kids to cycle to school says Sustrans

More children than ever are travelling to school via car, despite the average primary school journey being just 1.6 miles

Cycling charity Sustrans are encouraging parents to put the “in between” back into the school-run journey.

A poll from the charity details how more children are travelling to school via car than ever before: the figure was 40 per cent in 1995/1997 but has risen to 46 per cent.

This is despite the average primary school distance measuring just 1.6 miles – ample time to ensure that the child partakes in the recommended hour of activity each day.

A YouTube video from Sustrans, entitled The Wizard of Oz: Journey to School, has been released which calls on parents to enliven the school journey once more.

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Reasons cited for taking children to school in a car as opposed to walking or cycling include fears that there are few – if any – dedicated walking/cycling routes and safer crossings.

Malcolm Shepherd, chief executive at the charity, says that choosing the car over a bike contributes to the stats that reveal 42 per cent of children don’t do enough exercise each day.

He said: “It’s wrong that so many children are being denied a safe and healthy journey to school, especially when physical inactivity is placing such an incredible burden on our health system.

“We urgently need the government to make dedicated funding available, commit to lower traffic speeds, and transform local walking and cycling routes.”

Chris Marshall-Bell

Chris first started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2013 on work experience and has since become a regular name in the magazine and on the website. Reporting from races, long interviews with riders from the peloton and riding features drive his love of writing about all things two wheels.


Probably a bit too obsessed with mountains, he was previously found playing and guiding in the Canadian Rockies, and now mostly lives in the Val d’Aran in the Spanish Pyrenees where he’s a ski instructor in the winter and cycling guide in the summer. He almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains.