We do celebrate the fact that so many of our children can walk or cycle to school, but this is undermined by the fact that so many are driven. Road danger, pollution, congestion and noise make the school run awful for many who aren't being driven and although we don't want to be negative, these are issues which need to be discussed.
According to the National Travel Survey: England 2014 46% of 5-10 year olds and 38% of 11-16 year olds walk to school. Walking to school has been in a gradual decline for over a decade with car-based school trips growing. In the mid Seventies, the walking mode share was 74% for primary and 53% for secondary school children.
Cycling fares even more poorly as it has essentially been flat-lining at 1% for primary school children and 2% for secondary school children; this is in common with the travel habits of the wider population where cycling mode share is around 1 - 2% on average.
The Department for Transport suggests that more car availability and longer school journey lengths might be the cause of a decline in walking and an increase in car trips to a point where 46% of primary school children and 24% of secondary school children are driven to school. This might be part of the story and is again, reflective of National habits. We also strongly suggest that the way our streets are designed and managed plays a huge part because people just don't feel safe walking and even less cycling where motor traffic has been allowed to dominate.
We want to hear your stories about school travel and what you may think needs to be done to either make current journeys feel safer or what would enable you to leave the car at home.