Living Streets has renewed its call for cars to be banned from school gates at drop off and pick up times.
The call is one of 21 recommendations set out by the walking and cycling charity in a new report, published today (21 May) to mark the start of the 2018 Walk to School Week (21-25 May).
Walk to School Week, which takes place annually each May, is described as ‘a country-wide celebration of walking’. Living Streets says that last year 400,000 children and their families participated and ‘got a taste of the many benefits the simple act of walking can bring’.
The new report, which sets out measures to encourage more children to walk to and from school, has been delivered to Jesse Norman, road safety minister.
Among the report’s recommendations is for local authorities to make 20mph the default speed limit for all streets where people ‘live, work, shop and play’, and to use their powers to create ‘Controlled Parking Zones’ around schools, to prohibit parking on streets.
Living Streets has also published the findings of a survey which suggests 42% of parents are concerned about levels of air pollution around their child’s school.
30% of respondents said they had been put off walking their children to school because of poor air quality, while 21% wrongly believe that children are protected from air pollution inside the car.
Jenni Wiggle, director of local impact at Living Streets, said: “More children walking to school means fewer vehicles on the road and improved air quality for everyone.
“We want more children to enjoy the benefits of walking to school and are calling on the Government, local authorities and schools to work together to support families to choose to walk.
“We would like to see more local authorities working with schools to ban people from driving up to the school gate – adding to air pollution, congestion and road danger during drop off and pick up.
“Walking to school not only improves air quality but is a great way for children to build more exercise into their daily lives, helping them to arrive to school healthier, happier and ready to learn.”
What’s happening in your area?
If you are planning any activities in your local area in support of Walk to School Week send us details and we’ll look to give coverage on Road Safety News.