LETTER: Walk to School Week a massive success

LIVING Streets’ Walk to School Week is over for another year and we’d like to thank everyone who took part and contributed to it being another massive success, with a million children, parents and teachers across the UK enjoying the many benefits of the walk to school.

However, just because the week of celebration is over, it doesn’t mean you have to stop. Walking to school all year round can save money, teach children independence, road safety and social skills, and is an easy way to build activity into a child’s day.

More children walking to school also means less traffic congestion and tension around the school gates, making it safer for everyone. For those who live far away from the school, we know parents are keen to see further investment in schemes such as Park and Stride, a popular way of walking the final ten minutes of the journey after parking in a designated car park.

But it isn’t just down to the parents. Local authorities and schools can help parents and children walk to school all year round by signing up for Living Streets’ Walk once a Week (WoW) scheme, which has been running since 2003. Today, it encourages almost 400,000 children to get walking across the UK, has increased walking to participating primary schools by 26 per cent, and can cut driving by more than a third – but more importantly it leads to happier, healthier children.

We know that children love using the interactive Living Streets Travel Tracker to log their walks. Those walking to school at least once a week are rewarded each month with a collectible badge. These popular badges are designed by children themselves in one of the country’s largest children’s art competitions and are manufactured in the UK using recycled yoghurt pots.

Once again, a huge thank you and congratulations to everyone who took part in this year’s Walk to School Week – with your help we’ll achieve our goal of making the walk to school safer and easier for everyone.

For more information on WoW visit www.livingstreets.org.uk/wow

Joe Irvin

Chief Executive,

Living Streets