Funding announced to enable more children to walk to school
More children will have access to Living Streets’ walk to school programme, thanks to funding announced today (29 September 2023).
Living Streets has been awarded £5m to boost the number of children walking to school. The charity’s ‘Walk to School Outreach’ programme generated 14.3 million walking trips and removed over 2.5 million car kilometres from the road last year.
The two-year funding will see Living Streets continue the programme and run WOW – its walk to school programme in schools and also work with them to tackle the barriers that prevent families choosing to walk to school, such as unsafe walking environments.
Stephen Edwards, Chief Executive of Living Streets, said:
“This funding will support even more families to choose active ways to travel to school, boosting the nation’s health, reducing congestion and improving air quality.
“Our programmes have been incredibly successful, playing a huge role in helping more children walk to school. We look forward to more pupils and schools joining us and reaping the benefits that come from swapping the school run for a school walk.”
The funding is part of a £60 million package aimed at helping families have more confidence to walk or cycle with their kids on the school run by funding initiatives that give more children better road skills and aim to help make it easier for parents to choose greener travel options.
Speaking in the announcement from Active Travel England, Chris Boardman, Active Travel Commissioner, said:
“Giving kids transport independence and enabling them to walk, wheel or cycle on the school run is what they want, and what we want for them.
“This £60 million funding package will help put the joy back into journeys and create a generation of young people who feel confident to make healthier and greener travel choices.”
Decarbonisation Minister, Jesse Norman, said:
“The government wants children up and down the country to benefit from the freedom as well as the huge mental and physical health benefits of cycling. That is why it is investing £60 million in this package of measures to support active travel for young people.”
Schools Minister, Nick Gibb, said:
“The journey to and from school is an essential part of the school day for every child, and it’s encouraging that Active Travel England is investing in active travel initiatives for children and young people that can improve their health and wellbeing.
“Many schools are already encouraging these initiatives locally and this is being supported with our School Sport and Activity Action Plan, which was published earlier this year.
“The plan supports initiatives to increase active and safe travel to school such as Walk to School Outreach, School Streets and Bikeability – and these include inclusive delivery for children with special educational needs and disabilities.”