Stuart Hay, Director, Living Streets Scotland comments:
“These results are incredibly disappointing and shows that there is a lot of work to be done to make walking to school a viable option for families across Scotland.
“We know from our work with schools across Scotland that families are put off walking to school by traffic, road danger and air pollution. By removing cars, we remove these barriers.
“When pupils start to return, it’s crucial that our roads aren’t gridlocked and our schools surrounded by dirty air. And by giving space to people – not cars – we can ensure families can physically distance at pick up and drop off.
“School Streets have been successfully implemented by many Scottish local authorities and we want to see others using the funding made available during the pandemic to follow their lead. We need to come out of this crisis stronger than before and we won’t do that by replacing it with crises around inactivity, air pollution and road danger.”
Living Streets Scotland runs WOW – the year-round walk to school challenge in 22 Scottish local authorities. On average, schools which take part in WOW see a 23 per cent increase in the number of children walking to school and a 30 per cent decrease in the number of cars driving up to the school gates.