Skip to main content Skip to footer

Dangerous driving stops families walking to school, suggests new data

New research released for Walk to School Week finds that “unsafe driving speeds” is a major nuisance preventing parents and other adults from walking kids to school (21%).

Other reasons included a lack of safe crossings (25%), parents’ lack of time (25%) and cars/vehicles parked on the pavement (24%).  

The survey, commissioned by Living Streets asked parents/carers of 5–11-year-olds about their attitudes towards walking to school. Mums were particularly worried about the safety of the school gates, with nearly a quarter (23%) saying they find it “very unsafe”.  

But there are also clear advantages when children do walk. Parents and carers were also asked what benefits their child experiences from walking regularly. Respondents answered physical health benefits (76%), improved wellbeing (64%), quality time spent with family (62%) and improved road safety skills (58%).  

Over 280,000 children across the UK will celebrate the magic of walking during Walk to School Week (20-24 May 2024).  

Walk to School Week is organised by Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking as part of their National Walking Month campaign each May.  

Families are encouraged to walk, wheel, cycle, scoot or ‘Park and Stride’ for the whole week to see the big differences that come from small steps, from healthier and happier children to fewer cars outside the school gates.   

This year's challenge, The Magic of Walking, encourages children to travel actively to school every day of the week. Meeting various magical beings along the way, children will learn about how active travel benefits individuals, communities and the planet. 

This year, over 900 schools across the UK are expected to take part in Walk to School Week. 


Katherine Holcroft leads on Living Streets’ walk to school programme, she said:  

“Getting out of the front door in the morning with kids can be hectic, so it’s no surprise that parents say a lack of time stops them walking to school. However, walking can actually save families time by swapping the last ten minutes sitting in traffic for a walk instead. 

“Walk to School Week is a great opportunity for families to give it a go. And with more people walking, rather than driving, there will be fewer speeding vehicles and cars blocking pavements – making it even easier and more pleasant to walk to school.”  

Matty Green, teacher at Bramford Primary School, near Wolverhampton said:  

“We noticed our children were very inactive in the mornings before school. After seeing research that exercise before school increases academic performance, walking to school seemed like the perfect thing to get our children more active.  

“Also, reducing congestion and cars outside is a bonus, as it keeps our children safer! It’s been a major success in our school.” 

For more information on Walk to School Week, visit 

About the author

Rowan Dent

PR and Media Coordinator, Living Streets / [email protected]