School run killing planet, says greens: Campaigners say parents ferrying their children to the gates ‘costs the Earth’

The Mail is reporting claims from green campaigners that millions of children driven to school each day by their parents are ‘killing the planet’ with the pollution they generate…

They argue that the traditional school run by mums and dads in their 4X4s and other vehicles ‘costs the Earth’ because every time a child is driven to primary school and back their car releases into the atmosphere the equivalent of 84 balloons worth of carbon dioxide (CO2) – the so-called ‘greenhouse-gas’ which some scientists blame for global warming.

They are urging parents to encourage their children to walk, cycle ‘scoot’ on a scooter or take a bus to school rather than rely on the chauffeur services provided by legions of mums and dad causing gridlock outside the school gates.

The research by environmental transport charity Sustrans says that if a child is driven to school every day they would generate 183,379 balloons worth of CO2 over their school career: ‘That’s 84 balloons every day’, says Sustrans.

Overall Journeys to school made by car are responsible for releasing over 363,075 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere each year, it claims.

Their report notes:’Currently over 1,760,000 children are driven to primary school across the UK – even though pupils live an average of 1.8 miles from their school which takes just 20 minutes to bike or scoot.

The announcement comes at the start of The Big Pedal (3 -14th March); an inter-school competition run by Sustrans which encourages families to cycling or scoot the school run.

This year The Big Pedal is partnering with Climate Week (3-9th March) to emphasise the impact the school run has on the environment.Malcolm Shepherd, chief executive at Sustrans said: ‘Driving to school not only contributes to UK-wide air pollution levels, it also causes pollution at the school gates which can be harmful for children.

‘If families who lived closer to school travelled by bike or scooter then both pollution and congestion levels could be significantly reduced.’

Kevin Steele, the founder of Climate Week said: ‘We’re calling on all the teachers who support us to change themselves from pedagogues to pedalogues and get their schools involved in the Big Pedal for Climate Week.’

More at: School run killing planet, says greens: Campaigners say parents ferrying their children to the gates ‘costs the Earth’

Learn more about The Big Pedal 2014 here

What do you think about the claims made by Sustrans? Do you think it is possible and sensible to encourage more children to ride to school? Please share in the comments or via Twitter…

Computer coding more in demand than languages, survey shows
Today's poll: Should maths and English be compulsory until 18?
Categories: Health.


  1. FionaTipper

    SchoolsImprove not all parents drive 4x4s, not all schools have a bus, not all routes suitable for primary children on foot or bikes!

  2. oldheadteacher

    FionaTipper SchoolsImprove children not attending local school can break communities, driving past schools to go to another is often wrong

  3. oldheadteacher

    FionaTipper they’re linked. any parent driving past a school to another one, has a lot of questions to answer

  4. oldheadteacher

    FionaTipper not happy with their own community, but don’t want to do anything other than run away from it

  5. FionaTipper

    oldheadteacher I love the community in which I live but chose my children’s sch based on which best suits their needs, its not the closest.

  6. FionaTipper

    oldheadteacher SchoolsImprove here its your (one) local school or go independent. I hear you but think parents have the right to choose.

Let us know what you think...