There isn’t a one size fits all approach when it comes to helping schools increase their walking rates.
Here's how WOW - our year-round walk to school challenge mixed with Park and Stride is helping pupils across Greater Manchester take to their feet.
Beaumont Primary School in Bolton was experiencing chaos at the school gates. Issues with parking had seen a fire engine obstructed during an emergency callout to the adjacent school, St Bernard’s Primary, and having the two schools on the same site was compounding congestion problems.
Beaumont Primary School started taking part in WOW - our year-round walk to school challenge to help alleviate the problems, and they brought St Bernard’s Primary along for the walk.
We needed to take action to ensure our children were safe outside the school gates. Parents were reluctant to park away from school, but the children wanted to earn their WOW badges so they were the ones encouraging them to use the Park and Stride instead.
Pupils take the lead
Situated on a narrow residential street, English Martyrs RC Primary School in Trafford also had issues with congestion.
Pupils on the school council were concerned by it and the related issues of families not walking to school including a lack of physical activity, poor air quality and reduced road safety.
So they decided to do something about it.
Over 30 families took part each day during Park and Stride Week.
As an existing WOW school, English Martyrs RC Primary School already had an active travel rate of 85%. By the end of the year’s Park and Stride Week, this had increased to an incredible 92%
Park and Stride Week demonstrated how important communicating alternatives to parents is to success. By putting the power in the pupils’ hands, they were able change travel behaviour for the better and for the benefit of them and their classmates.
WOW is delivered in Greater Manchester in partnership with TfGM as part of the Walk to School Outreach project, funded by the Department for Transport.