School-run battlegrounds set to worsen as more parents opt to drive

Tension at the school car park could be set to increase as more parents choose to drive their children to school instead of putting them on public transport, a new survey has discovered.

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic and concerns surrounding it, one in 10 parents will change how their children will get to school, with eight per cent of 1,000 parents surveyed admitting that they would be taking their kids off public transport and either choose to drive them to school or have them cycle or walk instead.

The survey, conducted by car dealership Swansway Group, found that of those who said that they’d be changing how their kids got to school, 24.3 per cent would be opting to drive while 11.1 per cent would make their children walk or cycle.

It coincides with an increase during the summer of parents looking to buy new school-run-friendly cars, with a particular rise in the sales for SUV models.

John Smyth, director at Swansway Group, said: “Our dealerships have seen a new back-to-school trend this year, with parents looking to upgrade their car as they switch from sending children on the bus to driving them instead.

“We’ve already seen people turn to cars in an attempt to avoid public transport, but buyers are clearly preparing themselves for a hectic start to the school year.

“Many parents will be faced with dropping their children off at different schools, within certain time slots, on top of the typical traits of the school run – and it seems for some, doing it in comfort and safety is an important way to start the school term.”

It’s in the east of England where the shift will be most apparent, with 42 per cent of parents stating that they’ll switch their children from using public transport to being driven to school.