To mark International Walk to School Month last year, we asked for your smart ideas to get more children walking.

Here are some of the best which focus on what the government and councils can do to make streets around our schools fitter for walking.

A busy road outside a school

Vehicle exclusion zone

If we made it mandatory to have all childen arrive in school buses like those used in the USA, Scotland and Ireland, parents could not then use cars and there would be far less traffic.

Ann Irving, Leicester

Exclusion zones around schools for motor vehicles, should be policy. Drop-offs should not be allowed within a specific radius of the school. Lines of traffic make it difficult for anyone, let alone schoolchildren, to cross the road.

Steven Edwards, London

Why we like this

Traffic is a huge barrier, not just to walking to school, but to increasing walking rates as a whole. It is also a key contributor to our poor air quality. These emails were just two of several to mention it - clearly there is desire for this to change. And we strongly agree.

Speed limits

A default speed limit of 20mph in lit streets where people live. Proper traffic regulation is the first essential step to give back streets to all pedestrians but particularly children.

Sarah Watkinson, Woodstock

Why we like this

What can we say. This is why we have a long history of campaigning for safer speed limits.

Restrict heavy vehicles

If we banned ALL delivery traffic at school arrival times (eg 30 minutes either side) - private and commercial - it would be easier to walk.

Ann Irving, Leicester

Why we like this

It's about sharing the roads, and redesigning our cities around everyone's needs.

Local schools, shorter journeys

Catchment schools have to be the answer. The high school students where I live come from miles around, this causes major disruption.

David Keigwin, South Glamorgan

A key issue is school selection. I know we can't change parental choice of schools but how about local authorities highlight the benefits of walking / disadvantages of driving to school at the key point when parents put down their choice of school?

Jenny Woodward, Bingley

Why we like this

This is big picture stuff. So big, in fact, that you would be forgiven for initially reacting with "Yes, but it's impossible."

Yet doesn't the question alone provoke thoughts about how the places we live are built and designed - and even the impracticalities we have grown accustomed to?

Safer crossings

Walking has to be safe so children should never have to cross a road with free flowing traffic without the protection of a controlled crossing.

Karl Farrell

Why we like this

Everyone should be able to cross the road safely. Find out more about where we stand on crossings: Visit Safer Crossings

 

 

Share your smart idea

To mark International Walk to School Month we will be talking to communities, supporters and organisations around the world to find out how they’re reversing this worrying trend.

It could be a scheme you have seen in your area or further afield. It could be a clever idea you have come up with yourself - or perhaps you have recently started walking to school yourselves.

Let us know so we can reverse the decline in walking to school.