Parents and pupils to stride out during Walk to School Week

Schools throughout Central Bedfordshire will be getting active on their way to school during ‘Walk to School Week’ (20-24 May). Children and their parents are being encouraged to swap four wheels for two feet by taking part in the five-day walking challenge.

Walk to School Week is open to individual classes as well as whole schools, with hundreds of thousands of pupils across the UK expected to take part.

Central Bedfordshire Council will be supporting local pupils by supplying a number of classes with Walk to School Week resource packs. Through fun wallcharts and stickers, children will find out how walking can benefit the whole community, as well as improve their individual wellbeing. Pupils will learn the importance of walking to school and collectively create the most walkable street imaginable. Every pupil who takes part in Walk to School Week will be rewarded with a celebration badge.

Steve Lakin, Strategic Transport Manager and Highways Development Management Team Leader at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “The number of children walking has been in decline for decades. A generation ago, over 70% of children in the UK walked to school – now it’s less than half. We believe that this campaign will not only improve student safety but will also help pupils incorporate more exercise into their day.

“It’s been proven that children who do some form of exercise, especially a walk before school, do better in class because they arrive refreshed, fit and ready to learn. If pupils live too far from their school to either walk, cycle or scoot, parents have the option of ‘park and stride’ - parking further away and continuing the journey to school with a short walk. This helps to reduce congestion and improve air quality around schools, and benefits health through daily exercise. It’s also a great opportunity for children to learn vital road safety skills.”

As well as the individual health benefits for parents and pupils, schools that encourage walking have far less traffic congestion during school run times, which improves local air quality and provides a safer environment.

*74% of primary school children walked to school in 1975-76, according to figures from Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking.
More details about Walk to School Week can be seen here:
Each extra young person walking to school is worth an estimated £768.70 in congestion savings – Department of Health
This year is the 90th anniversary of Living Streets. As part of this special occasion, children will be taken on a special walking journey re-tracing the steps of the charity’s greatest achievements.