top of page

School Run Number Cruncher

Have you noticed how traffic seems to disappear when the schools break up? You're not the only one. In fact, according to Transport for London data says the school run is responsible for 25% of traffic in the morning... layering on top of rush hour traffic. This creates congestion, air pollution, delays buses and causes road danger. Ironically this is of course at exactly the same time as most children are trying to make their way to school by walking and cycling.

Because all school run journeys happen in such a short timeframe, the road network is flooded and pushed beyond it's capacity. So it's not just children who have to travel in this toxic environment, everyone is affected. Bus delays, pollution, road danger, the school run is not working for anyone.

Which is why we'd all benefit from a bigger focus on enabling sustainable school run travel. We have employer cycle to work schemes, where are the cycle to school schemes for families?  We have major commuter routes into towns, but where are the localised safe routes for kids to walk or cycle to their school?  From school streets to cycle routes, to family-friendly public transport, we need more focus on solving the school run and this will reduce congestion for everyone.

To help make the case for much more action from government  & councils, we're delighted to team up with Possible, a climate charity, on a School Run Cruncher tool that works out exactly how much congestion on local roads during the morning rush hour is down to the school run. But we need your help! The School Run Cruncher uses data from Google Maps to work out how much congestion increases during term time, compared to holidays, but we need your local knowledge.

If you've noticed traffic jams disappearing from a main road near you during the school holidays prove it by just entering the details of the road route and any nearby schools into the School Run Cruncher google form.

Possible's data gnomes have written a code that will check the congestion on that road several times a day, for the coming school year. At the end of that academic year, in 2025, that data alongside information on local school term times will enable them calculate how much congestion would be reduced by turning school run car journeys to active and sustainable transport instead.

And once you've done that, do take a look at our Take Action page. We've got loads of ideas for school run solutions; from bike buses for local schools to school minibuses for independent schools.

The Solve the School Run Team

Interested in more initiatives like this? Sign up to our termly newsletter here.


bottom of page