GLOBAL ROAD SAFETY WEEK SPECIAL FEATURE: WALK TO SCHOOL WEEK
UN Global Road Safety Week
Case study: Walk to School Week
To celebrate the Second UN Global Road Safety Week (6-12 May), which is focusing on pedestrian safety, Road Safety GB will be showcasing some of the UK's established pedestrian safety schemes.
Walk to School Week is an annual event organised by Living Streets which attempts to get children to commit to walking to school throughout the week.
Launched in 2005, Walk to School Week aims to raise awareness of the benefits of walking to school and encourage children to get into the habit throughout the year. It takes place 20-24 May during National Walking Month, which also features Walk to Work Week (13-17 May).
Over the five days, thousands of children from schools across the UK ditch four wheels and learn about the pleasures and advantages of walking.
Specially created learning resources are available to help parents, children, schools, and local authorities run events and activities, all designed to demonstrate the benefits of walking to school.
The Living Streets vision is that every child who can walk to school does so and its Walk to School campaigns, including Walk Once a Week (WoW), reach more than 1.9 million children each year.
It’s no surprise that the team is so passionate about the event when some of its success stories are considered.
For example, two-thirds of all schools in the county borough of Caerphilly take part in Walk to School week, which equates to around 5,000 children taking part. One school made a walking bus of 186 people, which included 52 parents. Parents and carers who try walking to school with their children report back that it is often quicker than taking the car and gives them an opportunity to spend some quality time together.
Analysis of a Living Streets’ Walk to School pilot project, which ran in 12 Hertfordshire schools for two terms, showed that the number of children walking to school increased by 7% during the programme. Coupled with an increase of 10% in the number walking part of the way through a ‘Park and Stride’ initiative, the number of children being driven to school fell from 36% to 19%.
Walk to School Week 2013 will take place 20–24 May and there will be five different themes - Safety, Discovery, Health, Eco-friendly, and Social Time - one for each day of the week. Children will learn about each of these in relation to walking to school.
For more information contact Jayne Phenton at Living Streets on 020 7377 4900.
*Living Streets, the charity behind the event, comprises professionals and volunteers who work together to create ‘living streets’ around the UK. It has been campaigning for safe, attractive, and enjoyable streets since 1929.
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