Welcoming Sustrans’ 2018 ‘Hands Up’ report, North East MSP Mike Rumbles has highlighted the fact that fewer pupils are walking to school now than at any other point in the past five years.
The Hands Up Scotland Survey reports key results from 2017 on the mode of travel to schools and nurseries in Scotland. In 2012, 45.1percent of school pupils said they walked to school, this year’s survey reports that that number dropped to 42.3percent last year. A drop of 0.5percent in the past year.
Disappointing numbers in the report confirm that the Scottish Government’s National Walking Strategy and Cycling Action Plan for Scotland have had almost no impact on the modes of transport pupils are using to get to and from school.
Mr Rumbles said: “The Scottish Government’s warm words but half-hearted approach to active travel has clearly had no impact whatsoever.
“Countries across Europe have shown that it is possible to get people out of their cars with investment in the right places. Not only do we need to promote active travel, we need far more funding in clean and sustainable public transport, especially in rural communities.
"The benefits of promoting active travel are clear, as well as tackling obesity and easing congestion on roads, this would help meet Scotland’s ambitious climate change targets and reduce air pollution.”
Notes for editors:
- Fewer pupils walking to school in 2017 compared to 2016 (dropping from 42.8% to 42.3%) and more people taking the car (increasing from 22.3% to 22.8%).
- Last October, Mr Rumbles successfully passed an amendment in the Parliament on the Active Travel Budget, which said that "every child should have the opportunity to benefit from cycle training at school”.
- The Scottish Government have promised that 10% of all journeys will be taken by bike by 2020. Getting people cycling from an early age is important to deliver this but only 3.7% of pupils say they normally cycle to school.
- The full Hands Up Scotland Survey findings can be viewed at: https://www.sustrans.org.uk/scotland/hands-up-scotland-survey