People walking

Taking to the streets for the walk to school, popping out to the shops or heading up to the park needs to be safe, fun and easy for everyone.

Aisha Hannibal, our Local Engagement Coordinator, spoke to Dom Jacques of Moortown Living Streets Group in Leeds about being a parent and why improving walking routes to schools in his area was so important - and how why he has set up a Local Living Streets Group. 

Kathryn Shaw

It’s nearly 20 years since I first settled in Moortown and there’s no doubt that it’s always been a fantastic place to live. It has great schools and amenities, some nice historical features and most importantly a friendly and welcoming community.

Like many areas, however, Moortown is very dominated by cars. It’s main shopping parade is flanked in all directions by busy roads, confusing junctions and awkward car parking arrangements. Damaged and obstructed pavements are a real worry for many and driving standards are concerning with issues like speeding, distracted driving and irresponsible parking being commonplace.

As a parent of children at two local schools this frustrates me at lot. If we seriously want to tackle big problems like air pollution, rising obesity and mental health issues, we need to build healthy environments where our young people can thrive and not be forced to inhale unnecessary levels of pollution or be subservient to rat-runners and pavement parkers.

We need to create safer, more enjoyable routes that will inspire more people to leave the car at home and experience all the mental and physical benefits that active travel offers. We need streets that are fitter for walking, free from obstructions and dangerous driving.

I’d urge any parent who is thinking of starting up a local group to help improve their local environments to get in touch with Living Streets. 


3 Things to Start You Off

Moortown Group take us through their magic number.

1. Starting a Living Streets Local Group is an excellent way to begin tackling these issues and help to improve the routes around schools and local communities.

2. The recently launched Family Walk to School Kit is a fantastic resource to get more parents involved in making small but significant changes in their daily routines and communities. That is why we set up a local Park & Stride so that pupils who arrive by car can still make an active trip and help to reduce congestion around the school gates.

3. A great place to start, as we did, was by getting in touch with the local school to introduce Living Streets’ year-round travel tracker WOW which encourages and rewards pupils for making active school journeys.

Walk this May

We’ve helped to set up a Park & Stride at a local supermarket so that pupils who arrive by car can still make an active trip and help to reduce congestion around the school gates.

Dom Jacques - Moortown Living Streets Group


All sorts of ideas for all kinds of families.

Read Our Family Walk To School Kit

Walking to school as a family

Since launching WOW in January 2018 Moortown Primary School has seen an impressive reduction of cars outside the school gates. It’s been fantastic to see students and parents working with the local community to make the journey into school a safer, healthier and more sustainable one.”

Zariaat Marsood - Project Coordinator West Yorkshire