What we say

Walking to school is good for children’s health and the environment. 

We know that parents see the benefits of walking to school, including improvements in mood and behaviour in their children.

From reduced congestion to higher footfall for local businesses, the whole community benefits when more children walk to school.

However, the number of children walking has been in decline for decades. 

School children

What we want

Living Streets wants to reverse the decline in children walking to school. 

We’ve already convinced the government to have an objective to increase the proportion of 5 to 10 year-olds walking to school to 55% by 2025.

To help make this happen we want to see the Walk to School Programme rolled out to the whole country.

Swap the school run

We need urgent action on air pollution to protect and promote the Walk to School. And yet, at the same time, the Walk to School could play such a big part in improving our air quality.

Our report Swap The School Run For The School Walk lays out 21 recommendations for decision-makers at all levels to enable more children to walk to and from school.

Download our School Run report - pdf

Did you know?


Estimate of primary school children who walked to school in 1975-76.


Of children aged 5 to 10 who walked to school in 2015.


Government objective of children aged 5 to 10 walking to school by 2025.

What you can do

Walking to school offers many benefits. Switching the journey to school from the motor car to walking will reduce levels of air pollution as well as improving physical and mental health.

Walking Cities

Walk to School programme


What about children whose schools are too far away to walk?

We've got that covered! Park and Stride is a simple idea for families who live far away, to enjoy the benefits of walking to school. If you have to drive, park a ten minute walk away.




How do I encourage my school to promote walking to school?

WOW is the year round walk to school challenge. It is having a big impact, delivering strong results from small investments. Schools love taking part, walking and winning badges, and after one year pupils have formed new habits for life.

What if the walking route to school isn't safe?

The health benefits of walking always outweigh the risks. But if you want to make the walk to school safer you can encourage your local council to introduce and enforce a 20 mph zone. Some schools are working with local authorities to close their streets to traffic to make them even safer.