Research carried out among primary school pupils aged seven to 11 for the DETR's Are you doing your bit? campaign found that many children do not want their parents ferrying them to and from school.
This information was released as the DETR launched a new free School Travel Resource Pack designed to give parents, teachers and school governors all they need to develop safe and healthy alternatives to the car.
The Sustrans produced pack shows how schools can involve pupils and work with local businesses and the community to make the journey to school safe and pleasant. Its a document that IBDs should request in order to be fully briefed before approaching schools with pro-bike initiatives.
One of the DETRs research findings was that 38 percent of children who go by car would rather walk or cycle. This leaves a whopping amount of kids who PREFER to go by car, something which ought to be addressed by the DETR and other bodies.
Almost one in three (31 per cent) of children who are driven to school live within a 10 minute cycle ride from school.
The worst things about going to school by car, according to the children, are:
getting stuck in traffic (27 per cent)
cars causing pollution (24 per cent)
lack of exercise (23 per cent)
not meeting classmates (17 per cent)
it's boring (16 per cent)
Cycling to school addresses every one of those negatives yet almost one in five (18 per cent) cars on urban roads at 8.50am in term time is taking children to school, and over the last ten years the proportion of car journeys to school has almost doubled.
The School Travel Resource Pack is available from DETR Free Literature, PO Box 236, Wetherby LS23 7NB