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The school run is costing you £642 a year

Charity urges parents to cycle or walk their kids to school after research shows school run costs a collective £2 billion.

Parents could save the family purse around £642 per year by ditching the car for school runs. Sustrans, the charity that campaigns for safer routes, has revealed that parents who drive their kids to school spend a whopping £2 billion a year. 

Driving the kids to school is costing families £2 billion.
Driving the kids to school is costing families £2 billion.

The study shows over 11 million car journeys are made between home and school – both primary and secondary on a daily basis. The average primary school child lives 1.8 miles from school – a distance that is easily walked in 25 minutes or cycled in 15. Yet, 44 per cent of these children get a lift to school.

In addition to all the cost savings by walking and cycling, there are also health benefits. With over half the UK population expected to be obese by 2050, it is as important for parents to get regular exercise as it is for children. Claire Francis, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Sustrains, said, “With lots of people feeling the pinch, leaving the car at home can be a cheaper and more enjoyable way to the school gates.”

Parents cite safety as the overriding factor in shuttling their children to school in the car. However, a survey by the Scottish government revealed other reasons, including the difficulties involved in transporting not only a child, but all the related paraphernalia to school on foot. 

The survey also makes no mention of parents that are dropping children off at school and travelling further on to a workplace destination.


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