Only 2% of UK children currently cycle to school, even though many worry about the number of cars around their schools and would like to cycle, according to a YouGov survey commissioned by cycling charity Sustrans.
Over half (57%) of UK schoolchildren described the environment around their school as having too many cars and almost half of children worried about air pollution near their school.
The survey also found 30% of schoolchildren are ‘worried’ and 29% are ‘sad’ that vehicles produce more greenhouse gases than anything else, with private cars the biggest contributor.
Only 2% of children currently cycle to school, although 14% would like to, and only 2% scoot to school, even though 10% would like to.
As Bike to School Week launches on 27 September, Sustrans and Bikeability Trust call on local authorities to make walking, cycling and scooting the easiest and most attractive option for children and families travelling to and from school.
Xavier Brice, CEO at Sustrans, said: ‘We must make it easier, safer and more enjoyable for children to walk, cycle, or scoot to school. Not only does it improve their health and wellbeing, build connections with others and foster a sense of community, it also helps to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions, further benefiting their health, and the environment in which they live.’
Emily Cherry, executive director at the Bikeability Trust, added: ‘We are delighted to support Bike to School Week and work in partnership with Sustrans to celebrate cycling to school. Bike to School week is a fantastic opportunity to inspire children to ride to school more often, and to help them see the benefits of cycling to their own health and the health of the planet.
‘Bikeability is available to all schools across the country and equips pupils with the skills they need to ride confidently and safely, whether that be to school, the shops or out with family and friends. Our new video helps schools understand the hugely positive impact Bikeability can have on pupils in the classroom and communities outside of the classroom. Alongside this we have a fantastic set of online resources to help children, teachers and parents maximise the impact of Bikeability.’
Photo by Yiwen