School Run To Drive 10% Spike In Traffic

Sat 29th Aug 2020

Motorists are being warned to expect a significant increase in the rush hour traffic period this week as schools return to action.

With many schools being closed since March, the impact of seeing so many cars back on the roads will be noticeable to those who have still travelled to work in cars through the lockdown period and beyond.

And with many parents still concerned about the safety of their child returning to school, there is likely to be more cars on the school run as school buses and shared journeys are shunned. According to the AA, a fifth of parents will no longer be allowing their kids to travel on the school bus due to COVID concerns. The AA has also warned that the introduction of new cycle lanes by local authorities will increase congestion on a local level.

“The fear of spreading the virus further, coupled with staggered timetables, has drawn parents towards using the car more in the coming weeks,” said Jack Cousens, head of roads policy at the AA.

“While the streets around schools are usually busy, the clamour for parking could get worse as parents will want to be as close as possible to the school gates. Councils should encourage empty office car parks to be used as pop-up school car parks to offset any restrictions caused by temporary walking and cycling schemes.

“Many school runs are part of trip-chaining where working parents connected the morning drop-off with the commute to the office. Despite the fact more people are homeworking, parents plan to use the car to minimise the time spent away from their makeshift offices.

“To try and minimise the impact, employers should be flexible and allow parents more time to get to and from school. That could encourage more to walk or cycle to school and keep congestion down.”