Research commissioned by walking and cycling charity Sustrans ahead of this week’s Bike to School Week shows 81per cent of parents in London want councils to make it easier for families to walk and cycle to school.
Asked if they enjoyed their route to school, 47per cent of London parents said they enjoyed it. It is the highest rating among all the regions of England.
But 53per cent of London parents said they disliked their route to school, the reason given was congestion.
With Transport for London funding 430 new School Streets across the capital and with 64 new Low Traffic Neighbourhoods in place, London is ahead of the rest of the country in making it easier for people to walk and cycle.
The bolder action taken by TfL and councils in London over the past few months is reflected in the YouGov survey responses, with a third of parents saying they had noticed changes made to the built environment.
In the rest of the country, 8 in 10 parents said they had not noticed change.
More children walked to school in London (47per cent) prior to the pandemic than in any other region.
Among the key findings of the survey, conducted by YouGov:
- 81% of London parents say it’s essential local authorities now take steps to make it easier for families to walk and cycle to school
- 65% support the changes that have been made to streets during the pandemic
- 39% of London parents said safer crossings would encourage them to walk to school
- 39% said that cycle routes separated from traffic would help them start cycling to school.
- 47% of parents in London said that their children walked to school
- Congestion is the No1 reason parents don’t like the school journey
James Austin, Sustrans London Director, said: “Nearly half London households don’t have access to a car, so TfL and councils have a duty of care to make the capital’s streets accessible to everyone, and that, importantly, includes children.
“The vast majority of parents in London want councils to make it easier for children to walk and cycle to school. London is ahead of the rest of the UK in rolling out changes to help create streets where families can feel safe cycling or walking to school.
“But we still desperately need more people to ditch the car for the school run. With congestion the top reason for people not enjoying the school run, helping more people to walk and cycle by making the roads safer is a no-brainer.”
And Will Norman, the Mayor of London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said: “It’s more important than ever that families walk or cycle to school so it’s great that so many Londoners support our new School Streets and other Streetspace measures, and are making the most of them.
“We are working constructively with the vast majority of councils to make it safer and easier to do the school run on foot, by bike or even by scooter. This latest data shows these changes are not only necessary to avoid a damaging car-led recovery, but are also what Londoners want.”
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