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AA Foundation John Dawson
"The report has found that about half the journeys to school are walked"
 real 28k

London Cycling Association Peter Lewis
"There is still congestion and the school run plays a good part in that"
 real 28k

Thursday, 15 June, 2000, 00:06 GMT 01:06 UK
School run 'not filling roads'
Cars
The AA says only 8% of peak traffic is school bound
Parents taking children to school by car are causing less traffic congestion than has been believed, says the Automobile Association (AA).

A study from the AA has concluded that nationally the level of traffic generated by the school run is less than has been assumed - accounting for only 8% of peak-time road users.

The government has launched a campaign to reduce the school run, claiming that it represents a fifth of rush hour traffic and that it reduces the amount of exercise taken by children.

But the AA casts doubt on the numbers of parents driving their children to school, saying that only about a third of pupils are driven to school - with the largest number of these in primary school.

Improved buses

It also says that as many as 40% of parents taking children to school are on their way to work, which would mean that the cars would still be on the roads even without the drive to school.

And it argues that the apparent drop in traffic during the summer holidays is as much to do with the number of parents and families going away on holiday, as the absence of a school run.

However the survey accepts that there has been a sharp increase in the school run in the past couple of decades, with a rise of an estimated 60% in the past 15 years.

It concludes that parents who take children to school by car often feel they have no safe or practical alternative, and that an improved bus service might be the best way of reducing the school run.

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See also:

08 May 00 | Education
'Walking bus' guide for schools
22 May 00 | Education
Pupils prefer gossip to school run
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