October is International Walk to School Month which sees millions of children across the globe celebrating their walk to school.
Charity Living Streets have set themselves an ambition to get every child that can, to walk to school.
In today’s society less than half of children are walking to school, a figure that was previously well above 70 per cent.
Scientific research has shown that the less we move, the more vulnerable our bodies and minds are to poor health, so Living Streets are on a mission to make walking to school the natural choice for all families.
54% of parents find too many cars around school gates the most annoying thing about the school run
YouGov have conducted a series of research projects into the complications and restrictions that parents face when considering walking to school as opposed to other forms of transport.
The research reveals that too many cars are the thing that parents find most annoying on the school run – specifically too many cars around school gates; cars parking on the pavements; and too much traffic on the journey.
Living Streets is calling for more local authorities to pilot school road closures – prohibiting cars from the school gates at drop-off and pick-up times, alongside a series of other measures, to encourage more families to walk to school.
This year, the Mayor of London released the Transport Strategy 2018 which uses the Healthy Streets Approach to create ten different ways that we can make the streets of London nicer to walk, cycle and spend time on.
In order to meet these ten objectives the Mayor has proposed:
- Designing streets that people enjoy using because there are less cars and more people can walk or cycle.
- Make public transport better with stops or stations that link to foot paths or cycling paths, so that it is easier and quicker to make these trips than taking the car.
- Make sure that new homes and jobs are close to public transport stops and stations and where people walk or cycle.
We need to look at how we can fundamentally change the way people choose to move around our city as the current trends are increasingly causing problems for London.
– Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London)
This plan is a step towards achieving the Mayor’s mission to get all Londoners to do at least 20 minutes of active travel every day to help them stay healthy by 2041.
That journey may be long, and difficult, but Living Streets have made a start by creating a variety of different resources to help parents, teachers and families get involved in International Walk to School Month.