Active school commutes ‘could remove 250,000 cars from London’s roads’

11.36 | 5 September 2018 | | 1 comment

Parents and children in London are being encouraged to walk or cycle to school, instead of driving, in a bid to reduce the number of cars travelling on the Capital’s roads.

Research from TfL’s Walking Action Plan illustrates that a quarter of weekday morning peak car trips are for school drop-offs; a total of 254,000 trips each day.

If forming a traffic jam in single file, these cars would create a queue longer than 1,000km. According to TfL and the mayor of London, this is ‘greatly impacting congestion, air quality, safety and the efficiency of London’s roads’.

TfL and the mayor also suggest that walking to school would ‘drastically benefit both children’s health and the environment’ – pointing to figures which show that if every young person walked one mile to school and back, 57kg of carbon could be saved every year.

Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, said: “Walking, cycling and scooting to school are fun and easy ways to build more activity into the day.

“That’s why we’re determined to double the number of schools which champion active travel, enabling more London children to enjoy the benefits of leading active lives.”

TfL and others are delivering a number of projects that ‘promote healthy, walkable school journeys’ and make it ‘easier and more appealing’ for parents and children to walk or cycle to school.

Ben Plowden, director of surface strategy and network development at TfL, said: “Walking or cycling to school gives your child time to play, exercise and enjoy their local area.

“There are benefits for health, wellbeing and the environment, which is why we’re looking to increase the proportion of trips to primary schools made by walking from 53% to 57% by 2024.

“This target will help ensure London has the best rates of walking to school in the country.”



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    Everyone likes the road safety benefits during the school holiday periods where the roads are not as congested and they are safer for all road users.

    Perhaps we may get to the stage where we have to legislate against all petrol and diesel cars and prohibit them by law from being driven journeys say less than 2 miles in length. That would certainly and dramatically reduce those numbers of small journeys.

    That would make it possible and perhaps more practical to have small electric busses doing urban school runs and that would help make the journey to and from school less fraught and dangerous – particularly to walkers. Satisfying to some degree everyone’s needs and requirements.

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