New research has revealed that parents with children of school age (4-18 years) support safer crossings (60%), 20mph speed limits (53%) and car-free zones outside schools (50%).
The YouGov survey commissioned by Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking, ahead of Walk to School Week (5-9 October 2020), also found support for banning pavement parking (49%) and efforts to reduce rat-running (44%).
The parents polled believed the biggest benefits of walking to school for their children were being physically fitter (88%), getting fresh air (84%), being cost-free (72%) and reducing congestion (71%). Respondents also commented that physical distancing “is easier when walking” and that walking to school allowed their children to learn road safety and independence skills.
Despite these benefits, fewer than half of primary school children currently walk to school.
The Government has provided £225 million for councils to install emergency active travel measures that meet the needs of their communities. Some councils’ schemes have attracted controversy, but the poll reveals a “silent majority” are in favour. Living Streets is campaigning for action to encourage families to choose to walk, scoot or cycle to school.