Published: 27th SEPTEMBER 2021

Survey reveals just 2% of UK pupils currently cycle to school

Shocking figures released by Sustrans to mark this year's Bike to School Week reveal that only 2% of children cycle to school, but many more wish they could.

Our survey reveals just 2% of UK pupils currently cycle to school, but many more want to.

We commissioned a UK-wide YouGov survey of 1,305 children aged 6-15 to find out about their journey to and from school.

The survey found that just 2% of pupils actually travel by bike, but 14% would like to.

Figures also found that, whilst only 2% of UK children currently scoot to school, 10% would like to.

Tragically, 30% of UK children are 'worried' and 29% are 'sad' that vehicles on our roads make up the majority of greenhouse gases in the UK, with private cars making up the biggest part of this.


Children concerned about school air quality

49% of children said they are worried about air pollution near their school.

Over half (57%) describe the environment around their school as having too many cars.

40% of children surveyed said that the best way to bring down levels of air pollution near their schools is for more people to walk, cycle or scoot to school.

Air pollution from car fumes and tyre particles contributes to 40,000 premature deaths a year.


Bike to School Week

The figures have been released ahead of Bike to School Week, which launches today (27 September).

Alongside the Bikeability Trust, we're calling on local authorities to make walking, cycling and scooting the easiest and most attractive option for children and families travelling to and from school.

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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, but it also helps them build connections with others and fosters a sense of community. This will reduce air pollution and carbon emissions, further benefitting children's health and the environment in which they live. Blockquote quotation marks
Xavier Brice, Sustrans Chief Executive

How families and teachers can get involved

Bike to School Week is run annually by Sustrans and the Bikeability Trust.

The week will promote the benefits of walking, cycling and scooting to and from school, and takes place from 27 September to 1 October.

Families can make a pledge to cycle or scoot to school during Bike to School Week.

Teachers can also access free curriculum-based resources provided for schools.

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We are delighted to work in partnership with Sustrans to support Bike to School Week. This is a fantastic opportunity to inspire children to ride to school more often, and to help them see the benefits of cycling on 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. We have a fantastic set of online resources to help children, teachers and parents maximise the impact of Bikeability. Blockquote quotation marks
Emily Cherry, Executive Director at The Bikeability Trust

Creating School Streets

One such measure local authorities can implement is School Streets.

With this method, streets outside schools are open to people walking, cycling and scooting and closed to motor traffic at drop off and pick up times.

This can encourage more children to get active on the journey to and from school.

Xavier Brice, Sustrans Chief Executive, said:

"It is a sad fact that so many children find their daily journey to school unpleasant because of congestion and air pollution.

"It’s therefore vital that we make our streets accessible to all and pleasant to be in, working together to stop the public spaces around our schools being dominated by vehicles."


Find out more about Bike to School Week.

Download our teacher resources and help pupils start walking, cycling and scooting to school.

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