British school children cycled and scooted a total of 3.5 million miles as part of The Big Pedal, an inter-school cycling and scooting competition.
A charity organization called Sustrans organized The Big Pedal. The annual event is supported by Sharron Davies, a former Olympic swimmer. In just three weeks, the children were able to cover the millions of miles while traveling to and from school. It has been estimated that The Big Pedal participants have saved parents over £475,000, an amount that otherwise would have gone to fuel.
“The rising cost of living in the UK means that parents across the country are looking for ways to cut back on costs, and the school run is the perfect place to start,” quoted Sustrans national projects coordinator for education and young people Gary Shipp.
Shipp added, “Research by Sustrans has previously suggest that by switching from driving to cycling or scooting to school, parents can save on average £641 a year. The popularity of The Big Pedal shows that when families live near to school, it is possible to change the way they get there. But cycling and scooting to school doesn’t just have financial benefit; children that regularly cycle to school are fitter, more alert and better learners too.”
This year’s event was comprised of almost a million and a half separate journeys, a 300,000 increase from last year. Parents and teachers all over England were also some of the participants. This year 557,223 students joined the competition.
This British event, known to be the largest inter-school cycling and scooting competitions, aimed to encourage Brits to cycle and scoot to school, leaving gas-guzzling cars behind. In the three weeks that the event took place, approximately two million car trips were canceled.
More than a thousand tons of CO2 and 94,000 gallons of fuel were saved by The Big Pedal, putting to great use the efforts of Sustrans.
Sustrans is a charity based in England that aims to promote sustainable transport. The organization focuses on projects that encourage citizens to walk, cycle, and make use of public transportation.