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It's time to give up the school run

We all know when our schools are on holiday - rush hour congestion is much less.

It is estimated that one in five cars during the morning peak is on a school run.

Just as we put pressure on drivers to seek other ways of getting to work, we should encourage schoolchildren to do the same.

Oxfordshire County Council has been in the forefront of such moves, with cycle routes, grants for bike racks, walking buses and even cycle trains.

Transport Secretary Douglas Alexander visited Oxford yesterday to announce a £15m Government initiative to get more schoolchildren on their bikes.

The money will be used to give cycle training to up to 100,000 children across the country, as well as to help schools develop travel plans.

Many parents are reluctant to let their children cycle or walk to school for obvious reasons.

With the roads so busy these days, some routes will be simply too dangerous.

But equally, there are many others for whom the school run has become a lazy habit.

It is always a temptation to pile the children in the car and drive them to the school gates.

But fresh air and gentle exercise would help keep children - not to mention their mums and dads - fitter and healthier.

Other benefits for them and the rest of the community would be less congestion and pollution.

Parents should give up the school run where they can and make more effort to help their children and the environment.

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