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Walking to school


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. 

A group of pupils crossing the road
A group of pupils with Strider, Living Streets' walk to school mascot


Living Streets wants children who can walk or wheel to school to be able to do so on safe and accessible streets.  

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 our Walk to School programme rolled out to the whole country.

Swap the school run for a school walk

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.

Graphic reads 2 in 5 parents of primary school children say they worry about pollution around their school

Did you know?


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


of children aged 5 to 10 currently walk to school


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


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 - our  walk to school challenge can help. WOW typically sees walking rates increase by 23% with a 30% reduction in cars at the school gates. 

Schools love taking part, walking or wheeling to school and winning badges. Find out more. 

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 20mph zones. Some schools are working with local authorities to close their streets to traffic to make them even safer.