School Run Parents Could Save £642 A Year By Ditching The Car

New research indicates that if parents walked their children to school and ditched the school run car, they would save a massive £2 billion per year - or £642 per household.

Nearly half (44 of secondary school pupils were driven to school, according to statistics from sustainable transport charity Sustrans.

Recent drives to increase the popularity of cycling as a mode of transport seem to have had little effect, with only two percent of all school pupils cycling to school.

However, by comparing official statistics on travel and transport costs, number-crunchers have been able to estimate that cutting out the 11 million school run journeys made per day would save an average of £642 per household.

So, how do these results compare with Parentdish's own survey? Last summer we asked our readers to tell us about their school run - and it seems that they're doing better than the national average when it comes to getting their kids active.

Only 27 percent said they drove their children to school and nine percent took the bus. Our results also indicated a disparity between the ideal and the reality, with 82 percent saying that walking was the best way to take children to school, although only 64 percent actually did so.

The average distance between a pupil's home and their school has increased over the years, from 2.1 miles in 1997 to 2.8 miles today, which perhaps goes some way to explain why so many parents still opt to drive their children to school.

Of course, walking is not an option for everyone. Parents who live further than average from their child's school or parents of physically disabled children might find that making the journey on foot is impossible.

But this research indicates that, for those who can, ditching the car could reap a considerable financial reward alongside giving you and your family a health boost.

Take a look at the day who waved his son off to school while wearing a different costume every day...