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English schoolchildren ride bicycle bus to cut emissions

A 10 seat, people-powered vehicle costing £16,000 is being used by students in the town of Evesham, significantly reducing local petrol miles. 

The so-called ‘bicycle bus’ was paid for by the Evesham Adventure Playground Association following a fundraising campaign to cover costs. Designed and built by a manufacturer in the Netherlands, in addition to reducing car journeys benefits of use also include turning commutes into physical exercise, helping children retain and improve fitness levels. 

Arriving just before Christmas, the new transport option is currently only employed for one journey – picking children up from three schools, and taking them safely to a single after school club. However, this could easily be expanded on to use ‘pedal miles’ in more instances, while buying more vehicles would logically increase passenger capacity. 

  yellow and red bus illustration 

Hinting at how popular the scheme could prove, Bury St Edmunds Rickshaw, a firm that uses pedal power to help people with low mobility navigate the town in Suffolk, England, loaned the ‘bicycle bus’ from Evesham Adventure Association just before the new year. The intention was to trial effectiveness of the vehicle with a view to potentially placing an order and introducing the service for school children in the area.

While these are localised examples, there is a global need to cut down on road traffic, and specifically the use of cars for individual journeys. A recent study in Grenoble, France, showed a 37% cut in personal car use could significantly lower mortality rates caused by air pollution. Meanwhile, in London, City Hall announced earlier this week that a 27% drop in traffic will be needed for the UK capital to have a chance of meeting its net-zero target by 2030. 

Photo credit: Jackson Simmer

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