Children spend 50% more time on school drive than in their parents' day

Ali Aizaz Zahid

Research shows schoolchildren now spend an average of 26 hours a year being driven to school, compared with 18 in 1995. Schoolchildren are spending almost 50% more time inside a car on the morning school run today than their parents' generation did.

Research from the transport charity Sustrans, based on government figures, showed that primary school children now spend an average of 26 hours a year being driven to school, compared with 18 hours in 1995. Sustrans said safety fears were prompting more parents to drive their children, with the proportion of pupils taking the car rising from 40% to 46%.

Malcolm Shepherd, the charity's chief executive, 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 a 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."

But the AA warned that parents needed to be especially vigilant at the start of the new school year. Casualty data for 2012, the latest available, showed that more children were injured in a road accident in September than in any other month, with cycling a particular risk.

 The new intake at secondary schools are especially vulnerable, with around 65% more 11-year-olds than 10-year-olds injured as pedestrians over the .past three years. AA president Edmund King said: "A combination of being unfamiliar with their route, plus the pressures of starting a new school and a desire for greater independence as they head towards their teenage years, can make children even more vulnerable as cyclists and pedestrians at this time of year."



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