3 ½ million miles cycled and scooted to school

child cycling to school
24 March 2015

Children from across the UK have saved parents over £475,000 (£475,264) in fuel costs in just three weeks by cycling and scootering a total of three and a half million miles (3,669,907) to and from school.

The journeys were made as part of The Big Pedal – the UK’s biggest inter-school cycling and scootering competition run by Sustrans and backed by Olympic champion Sharron Davies MBE.

This year over half a million (557,223) pupils registered to take part in the competition and together pupils, parents and teachers cycled and scooted nearly one and a half million journeys (1,412, 299) to school and back.

The Big Pedal shows how choosing two wheels instead of four for the school run can help families save cash while getting fit.

Statistics released by Sustrans today to mark the end of the event also revealed that the competition:

- Saved over two million car journeys from being made

- Prevented over 1,000 tonnes of CO2 from being emitted

- Saved over 94,000 gallons of fuel from being used for the school run

Gary Shipp, Sustrans National Projects Coordinator for Education and Young People said:

“The rising cost of living in the UK means that parents across the country are looking for ways to cut back on costs, and the school run is the perfect place to start.

“Research by Sustrans has previously suggested that by switching from driving to cycling or scootering to school, parents could save on average £642[1] a year. 

“The popularity of The Big Pedal shows that when families live near to school it is possible change the way they get there.

“But cycling and scootering to school doesn’t just have financial benefit; children that regularly cycle to school are fitter, more alert and better learners too.”

The Big Pedal is funded by the Bicycle Association on behalf of the cycle industry through its Bike Hub scheme.

Find out more about more about how Sustrans works to get children active.

Get advice on changing your school run.

And check out our free resources for teachers.

[1] Estimate based on figures from the AA (2014), DfE School Statistics (2012), DfT National Travel Survey (2013), DEFRA & DECC GHG conversion factors (2012) and the Bike Station (2011). Sustrans, June 2014.