Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Back to school

... and guess who (for the first time in over six weeks) slept in?

Not me. Not Charlie, either. But his little sister decided that today was the day to snuggle down and stay in bed.

All of which meant the first day - always the best prepared in advance (clean clothes laid out, bags ready by the door and - in my case - bike checked, tyres pumped and trailer attached) didn't quite go as smoothly as it might otherwise have done.

Neither was the journey without incident, thanks to a dodgy pedal. Thankfully, that's now fixed and in time for the school run this afternoon so, once again, it's all systems go for our cycle to school.

We do our best. But, according to cycle charity Sustrans, fewer children are walking or cycling to school than ever before. And I can see why. (Want to see the helmet-cam of my daily commute? Take a look at this... and it ain't pretty!)

When asked, many parents cite safety (rather than, say, the weather or their appearance) as the main reason why they drive rather than walk or cycle on the school run with their children.

It's always seemed pretty cock-eyed to me to take any form of exercise for exercise's sake - more especially if you have to pay for it as well. (Why join a gym when you can bike to work?) But we're all aware of the need, collectively, to get moving as a nation. And that includes our children.

Which is why we need action - action to make our roads, and therefore, the school run, safer. Every child has a right to walk, cycle or scoot to school and enjoy their journey. We want to see a safer school run, and Sustrans has today launched the first of three short films to highlight this issue. Because, after all, there's no adventure without a journey. And it's what lies in-between that makes the getting there exciting...

If you'd like to get involved with the campaign visit


  1. What a great campaign to support Tim. My boys either cycle, scoot or walk to school on their own now. They are 8 and 9 and where probably the first of their age to do this when they started last easter. I was the talk of the school playground, my ears were burning,. I obviously didn't love my kids enough to drive them to school and collect the,. Bah, we live in a village and they are fine (I followed them for a few weeks (discreetly). Now most of their friends walk or cycle too. This was one of the main reasons we boomeranged back to the NE of England! Do come and join my back to school liky

  2. Thanks, Jen - I will! And well done for braving the looks and the gossip and getting Mini and Maxi moving.

  3. We've been walking 8 miles all together each day to go to school since just after Easter because we moved.Once the girl's move schools after half term, we'll be doing half of that.As I've never learnt to drive my kids haven't known anything different from walking.Our journey means we cross 10 roads altogether, 7 are busy main roads.As we have to go through a large closed park not long after we start our journey, so it does make the walk more interesting.It keeps us all fit and we get to talk to each other with no distractons.

  4. The walking to school issue is difficult for one simple reason.... Life is busier. In alot of families both parents work and in this case most children rely on childminding services to do the school run and it's not always possible to walk/cycle to school with 17 kids. For example our day nursery drive the kids to school. It drives me mad because on the days I can take off work and walk in with them they moan and complain but there's nothing that can be done while work us the way it is....... Parents are under pressure to work and this will directly affect the kids. Sad but true.


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