New polling data released for Living Streets’ Walk to School Week (16-20 May 2022) finds that traffic is one of the biggest barriers to children walking to school, with 15 per cent of parents naming it as a reason their child doesn’t walk.
With 10.3 million pupils in the UK, it would mean tens of thousands of them are being denied the physical and social health benefits of being more active.
Schools being too far away from home (17.7%), having to go elsewhere afterwards (12%), pavement parking (11.4%) and lack of safe walking routes (10.7%) were also barriers for UK parents.
A generation ago, 70 per cent of primary school aged children walked to school but now it’s less than half.
Stephen Edwards, Chief Executive, Living Streets said:
“We’re stuck in a catch-22 where families see driving to school as the safest way to protect their children from traffic.
“Leaving the car at home will reduce chaos and road danger around the school gates. It’s also a great way for children to learn about road safety in a real life setting and build their confidence in managing risk.
“Walk to School Week is an excellent opportunity for families to give walking to school a go and reap the health and social benefits of moving more.”
Living Streets works with schools, local authorities and parent groups to help improve the walk to school.
Stephen Edwards continues:
“We want to enable as well as encourage more families to walk to school. We’re here to help parents who are worried about safety around their child’s school. Car-free zones, 20mph limits and better crossings can all help make the walk to school safer and we’re here to help people campaign for them in their area.”