Green travel schemes encourage families to ditch the car and walk to school, and their impact has made significant impact in Kent and Medway.
The Big Green Footprint Report assesses the performance and environmental impact of the KM Walk to School campaign, which promotes walking, cycling, scooting and ‘park and stride’.
Data collected by participating schools over the academic year showed the campaign successfully removed a record 250,871 school run car journeys from Kent roads between October 2014 and July 2015.
The report calculates the carbon dioxide savings achieved were 178,622 kgCO2e, the equivalent to more than ten times the weight of Big Ben. The carbon footprint offset was equal to the production of one million glasses of pure orange juice.
An estimated quarter of the UK’s total carbon dioxide emissions – responsible for raising global temperatures – were found to be caused by motor vehicles. The school run alone accounted for one in five car journeys at 8:50am.
By tackling traffic volume the walk to school campaign was deemed to have had a positive impact on air pollution, traffic congestion, noise pollution and global warming. The drop in vehicle emissions also meant a reduction in the associated risks of asthma, particularly amongst children, as well as lung cancer and heart disease.