More than eight out of ten parents (84%) don’t want to drive their kids to school, a new survey has revealed. Between April and July, we surveyed more than 23,000 parents across the Midlands and East of England asking them to share their experiences of the school run.
We found that although a third (34.1%) of parents did drive their children to school only 16% wanted to.
As 73% of parents live within two miles of their child’s school it raises a simple question. Why do they drive if they don’t want to?
Parents are worried about safety
Concerns about safety appear to be the main reason. Of those who responded, 39.8% wanted safer road crossings.
A quarter of parents (26.8%) said wider pavements kept in good order would make it easier for their child to walk, cycle or scoot to school. And 25.32% wanted fewer cars near to schools.
We need safer crossings
Lucy Simmons is a parent at Edward Peake CofE VC Middle School, Biggleswade.
She echoed these sentiments and said:
“My son has to walk further than the actual distance to the school in order to get to a safe crossing point. There have been several serious accidents including cars and pedestrians on the road near the school.”
There needs to be more investment in active travel
Commenting on the findings, Tim Egan, Sustrans Interim Head of Delivery for the Midlands and East, said:
"As pupils return to school this September the findings are another reminder to policymakers that people want to see more investment in active travel.
"Although many parents currently drive their kids to schools it’s clear most want to ditch the car.
"Only 5% of them say their children usually cycle to school but three times as many (16%) would like them to.
"In response, policy-makers should direct investment towards safer infrastructure and support more traffic-free initiatives near schools. That’s why we’re working together with local and national government to make the changes necessary."
About the survey
Between April and July, we worked in partnership with primary schools, secondary schools and councils across the Midlands and the East of England.
Schools were asked to share the survey with their parents using social media, newsletters and home-schooling networks.