MP for Scunthorpe, Nic Dakin visited Melior Community Academy on Friday (13 November) to take part in a School Route Audit with the charity for everyday walking Living Streets.
MP Dakin spoke to the children about the enjoyment walking to school brings them before listening to Living Streets on a walkabout, as they pointed out the barriers to walking on local streets.
The walk highlighted a lack of safe crossing points near the school and a wooded area where the children felt worried about antisocial behaviour.

Russell Cave, Living Streets Project Coordinator (Scunthorpe) said: “It’s fantastic that MP Dakin joined us today on our School Route Audit. It’s really important that the barriers highlighted are overcome so more children are encouraged to walk to school.”

Living Streets works with Melior Community Academy and other local schools to increase walking rates among children, which have significantly fallen over the last three decades. The government has committed to the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy and to achieving a national 55 per cent walking rate among primary school age children but funds have not yet been allocated.

Scunthorpe MP Nick Dakin said: “It was a pleasure to visit Melior Community Academy today and hear the children talk about the benefits walking to school gives them. I would like to see the number of children walking to school increase and hope to see this area invested in within the upcoming Spending Review.

Living Streets do a fantastic job in schools educating children on the benefits of walking to school but the School Route Audit they led clearly highlighted areas in which further investment needs to be made to achieve the government’s 55 per cent walking rate target among primary school age children

Living Streets’ Walk to School programme has recently delivered an average 23% increase in the number of primary school children walking at participating primary schools. From school route audits like this one, Living Streets will advise the local council on where improvements to local infrastructure would help increase walking numbers.

Teacher Tony Joy said: "Our Eco prefects have shown a huge commitment to this project, and shown a real desire to improve the routes to school for all members of our community. We have welcomed the support from Russell, Nic Dakin and the local police, and we hope that some improvement can happen to make the routes to school safer for all our students."

PCSO Julian Campbell and Councillor Susan Godfrey joined MP Nic Dakin and Living Streets’ Russell Cave on the walkabout.