Charity wants schools to use their sugar tax funding to change how pupils commute

A cycling charity is calling for schools to use their sugar tax funding to get pupils walking, scooting or cycling to school.

Sustrans is encouraging schools in England to use the increased school sport premium and healthy pupils’ capital programme, both boosted by the tax on sugary drinks, to make pupils more active.

The charity wants the funding used for bike and scooter training, road awareness sessions and storage facilities.

The £320 million sport premium will be available for the 2017-18 academic year; the £415 million of capital funding in 2018-19 to pay for facilities to support physical education, after-school activities and healthy eating.

The charity’s call comes after figures from YouGov revealed that more than one in three pupils travelled to school by car and that only one in five 5 to 16-year-olds have 60 minutes of exercise, twice a week.

As part of the campaign to get kids more active, the charity hosted the Big Pedal 2017 challenge this week, in which pupils from more than 1,600 schools ditched cars and cycled to school.

Xavier Brice, Sustrans’ chief executive, said: “The average primary school journey is 1.6 miles, a distance that can be walked, scooted or cycled as an easy way of building more physical activity into our busy lives.”

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