This Walk to School Week (15 - 19 May), the UK charity for everyday walking, Living Streets, is calling for city leaders to prioritise making school walking routes safer, to help to prevent problems associated with a lack of walking, including child obesity and air pollution.

New research from Living Streets, the charity responsible for the nationwide Walk to School Week campaign, has found that almost a third of parents (30 per cent) living in the UK’s biggest cities[1] believe that their city is too unsafe for children to walk to school in[2].

Previous research carried out by Living Streets also shows that almost 60 per cent of parents are worried about speeding cars outside of school, and a third are worried about their child’s safety because of overcrowding outside of the school gates(3). A huge 82 per cent of parents think there should be more schemes to make the walk to school safer and easier(4).

This comes at a time when one in three children leave primary school overweight or obese(5), and just one in five children achieves the recommended daily amount of physical activity(6).

Following a generation-long decline in the number of children walking to primary school (from 70 per cent to 47 per cent), the Government has finally recognised the importance of walking to school and set new national target to get 55 per cent of children walking to primary school by 2025.

Living Streets is now urging city leaders to take action to make the school journey safer and enable more children to walk to school. 

 

The walk to school is a great way for children to get active in the mornings. It’s easy, free, accessible and it can be fun too! It’s essential that city leaders make all of our streets, including those around schools, safe places to walk, by installing 20mph speed limits and safety crossings. We know that a lot of parents avoid walking to school because of high levels of traffic outside the school gates. The more of us walking to school, the safer conditions will be, so this week we’re asking families to give walking a go for Walk to School Week.

Joe Irvin, CEO, Living Streets

 

 

This Walk to School Week, Living Streets is urging members of the public to rate their walk to school via www.livingstreets.org.uk/rateyourwalk

[1] Cities: Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Sheffield

2 Poll of 2,200 people living in the 10 largest UK cities via Opinion Matters 2017

3 Poll of 2,000 people via OnePoll 2016

4 You Gov poll 2015

5 Study by Cancer Research UK, 2015

6 Study by the British Heart Foundation, 2015