Parent and two children walking

This is the story of how, after just three months on WOW, one school reduced the number of cars outside its school gates by a huge 74%.

Our coordinator Kelly leading the assembly

Start at the beginning

Abbotswood Primary School is in a residential area of Yate, a small town in South Gloucestershire.

They joined WOW, our year-round walk to school challenge in December 2016 having experienced problems with congestion outside the school gates.

Catherine McCoy our project coordinator got them started with an assembly and school route audit to identify the barriers to walking in the area outside the school gates...

Bespoke approach. Here's how Abbotswood used WOW to solve their congestion issues...

Set pupils the target of walking four times a week to win a monthly badge.

After just months on WOW they have 91% of pupils travelling actively to school. 

And have reduced those being driven by a whopping 74%! 









How a School Route Audit works...

The idea behind a School Route Audit (SRA) is to uncover the barriers for walking in a local area. All that's needed is a small group of pupils and one of our local coordinators. 

The SRA report flagged these key issues affecting Abbotswood Primary School:

  • High volumes of traffic in Kelston Close
  • Inconsiderate parking
  • Speeding traffic along Rodford Way
  • Unpleasant underpass discouraging use as a walking route

From the SRA findings, we made recommendations to both Abbotswood Primary and the local council on how improvements can be made to bring a further increase in walking rates. 


“The children have been very enthusiastic about the WOW challenge and they love collecting the badges. We have seen a significant increase in the numbers of children choosing not to always take the car to school and we are very proud of our achievements.”

Lucy Williamson, Teacher, Abbotswood Primary School



Decrease in Abbotswood pupils being driven to school.

And the results of all this activity were undeniable, with active travel (walking, cycling, scooting) rates at the school rising from an encouraging 68% to a peak of 91%.

More importantly for Abbotswood, WOW worked and reduced the congestion outside school gates. 

So in short, wins all round.

Children walking
Small steps = big outcomes

Pupils and staff WOWed by launch assembly and SRA...

... which led school to fully embrace everyday walking, asking pupils to walk at least 4 times a week...

... culminating in lots more children and families walking ...

... which saw a significant reduction in the number of cars outside the school gates.