Pupils from schools across Edinburgh came together this week (18 April) to develop creative ideas to help motivate families to walk to school more, in a bid to help create safer school streets and healthier pupils.

Living Streets Scotland, in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council, delivered an event for over 40 Junior Road Safety Officers from Edinburgh schools at the City Chambers.


Pupils from schools across Edinburgh

The pupils learnt new skills and developed creative ideas on how to motivate their families and peers to walk to school more. There were a range of workshops including Rap Writing, Street Games, WOW Motivator and Play Street Trumps; pupils are now tasked with sharing what they learnt with their schools.

The pupils that attended were from schools that are part of the City of Edinburgh Council’s School Street initiative, which is seeing schools have their streets closed during peak drop off and pick up times as a means to combat congestion and to encourage active travel.

All of the schools take part in WOW – the year-round walk to school challenge from Living Streets. Schools which take part in WOW see an increase in the number of children walking to school.

The City of Edinburgh Council and Living Streets Scotland are both extremely passionate about making the school journey as safe as possible for walking, so it made sense for them to work together to run this event. Key partners also present to deliver workshops included Youth Scotland and In Hoodz we Trust.

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

“We’re thrilled to be working with the City of Edinburgh Council to highlight the importance of making the journey to school as safe as possible to encourage children to walk more. 

“Living Streets Scotland will be supporting the City of Edinburgh Council to grow the WOW programme in Edinburgh over the next academic year. Hopefully we’ll see an increase in the number of children walking to school as a result.

“2018 is the Year of the Young Person so it is only right that we enable children to play a lead role in supporting this goal!” 

Councillor Lesley Macinnes, Transport and Environment Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: 

“Tackling congestion at the school gates and keeping children safe around schools are major priorities for our road safety team. Our School Streets programme is all about creating as safe and relaxed an atmosphere around schools as we can by discouraging parents from driving right up to the school gates at pick-up and drop-off. 

“We’re delighted to work in partnership with Living Streets to promote awareness and to encourage more families to walk, scoot and cycle to school.” 

Pupils across Scotland will be taking part in Living Streets’ Walk to School Week (21 – 25 May) during National Walking Month this May. Parents/carers who pledge to walk their child to school on the Living Streets website will receive hints and tips on how to make the walk to school safer and more enjoyable.