Walking to School
There are many advantages to children walking to school:
Approximately 20% morning peak time traffic is created by the school run and three quarters of cars taking children to school return straight back home again.
Children who walk are fitter and healthier and have been shown to be less likely to go on to suffer from such conditions as obesity, heart disease and diabetes in adulthood.
Pedestrians are less susceptible to pollution from car exhausts than car passengers. There is strong evidence that the pollutants in exhaust fumes cause several thousand premature deaths each year, as well as making asthma worse, and affecting lung development.
When they arrive at school, children who have walked are more alert and receptive to learning than those who arrive by car.
Environmental tests around schools have found pollution levels to be higher there than in city centres. Cars produce most pollution when they drive short distances, with a cold engine, in stop start conditions - does that sound like your drive to school in the morning?
In order to instigate a Walking Bus, the route and activity have to be risk-assessed and volunteers trained. The school is provided with a handbook which covers all the details and sets out their commitment to support the bus.
The parents of the children travelling with the bus are given an information leaflet which incorporates a contract of commitment for both the parent and the child to sign. The adults and children are all provided with high-visibility jackets to wear.
National Walk to School Week
Each year, Living Streets organise two nationally recognised events:
National Walk to School Week (May), and International Walk to School Month (October)
In order to encourage people to see walking to school as an everyday activity, Living Streets also run the WoW (Walk Once a Week) scheme, which rewards pupils with a badge if they walk to school regularly.
Walk to School works!
The Walk to School Campaign has the support of over 65% of local authorities and regularly reaches more than 1.5 million pupils and their carers. Promotion of the 'Walk to School' campaign attracts media attention, not just locally, but nationally, bringing the message to a much wider audience.
National Bike Week is the UK's annual celebration of cycling, with more than 1,500 events expected to attract over 250,000 participants. It's a great opportunity to discover (or re-discover) the appeal of cycling; the easy way for so many people to feel healthy and keep fit. All you need to join in is a bike! For more information visit the website using the links.
For a guide to organising an event visit the Sustrans site or download the Sustrans Pedal pack as a PDF file by clicking the links on the right
For more information on what is happening locally, contact Southampton City Council' Cycle Development Officer Dale Bostock on (023) 8083 2366 or, alternatively email to: firstname.lastname@example.org