Pupils at Clackmannan Primary School took to the streets today (23 October) to celebrate their road being closed to vehicles to allow them to walk to school free from traffic. 

The celebratory event was hosted by the school in partnership with Clackmannanshire Council and Living Streets Scotland, the charity for everyday walking. 

The Clackmannan School Streets project is designed to encourage children to walk or cycle to school, improve pupil road safety and promote responsible parking. As well as the streets being closed to non-resident vehicles during drop off and pick up times, changes have also included widened footways and cycle parking.  

Autumn walks

The event saw the road closed between 8:30am and 11:30am and instead used for play, sports and walking activities led by Living Streets Scotland. The event was a chance to celebrate the many positive results the closure has already spurned since it was implemented in August 2017, including a 100 per cent increase in the number of pupils cycling or scooting to school, an 11.5 per cent shift to active travel modes and a 70 per cent reduction in reported car journeys.

Rebecca Simpson, Project Manager (Schools), Living Streets Scotland, said:

“More children walking to school is better for our local environment and for the health and happiness of our children. School street closures are a great way to enable and encourage more families to walk to school so they can start enjoying these benefits.

“It’s fantastic to see schemes like the Clackmannan School Streets project becoming more widespread and to see the results they’re having – it’s only right that we’re celebrating it today.”

The road outside the school used to be terrible with cars parked on the zig-zag lines and even on the pavements. It’s very different now. There are hardly any cars and the place looks and feels a lot better.

Clackmannan Primary School parent

 

Clackmannanshire Council Education Spokesperson Cllr Graham Lindsay said:

“The safety of our communities is a key priority for the Council, and in our discussions with the local community, they let us know that they wanted us to look at how road safety around Clackmannan Primary could be improved. 

“As part of the wider £5 million investment that is being made to regenerate and improve Clackmannan, we were able to introduce this School Streets project. I am encouraged by the positive feedback we’ve already had from parents and children, showing that this project is helping achieve a safer and more pleasant environment for everyone using the street whilst maintaining access for residents, businesses, pedestrians and cyclists.” 

Clackmannan Primary School also takes part in WOW – the year-round walk to school challenge from Living Streets which sees children who walk to school at least once a week rewarded with collectable badges each month. WOW typically sees an increase in walking rates of 23 per cent with a corresponding drop in car use.

October is International Walk to School Month, a celebration of the walk to see which sees pupils around the world enjoying the benefits walking brings. Find out more information about IWTSM on the links below.

Join in with International Walk to School Month