Living Streets calls for ‘urgent action’ on pollution at start of Walk to School Week

13.01 | 21 May 2018 | | | 2 comments

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.  


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    “..wrongly believe that children are protected from air pollution inside the car.” With A/C and closed windows, the air is a lot cleaner inside than outside…. without it and with the windows open, it isn’t. Doesn’t excuse driving short distances to schools in non-polluted areas though, which as Pat says the majority are anyway.

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (1) | Disagree (1)

    Let me think about these controlled parking zones for a moment.
    Local Authority councillors voted-in by the local people in their wards are being asked to vote for restrictions that will stop many of those same voters from driving to the school gates. Not only that but to also find money to maintain enforcement as signs alone won’t work.
    Elected members seeking to end their political careers prematurely on this issue is as hopeful as turkeys voting for Christmas.

    It’s Cloud Cuckoo Land stuff Living Streets. Very “worthy” but unworkable with the current mindset of the great British public – unless you live in a highly toxic area, which the majority of us don’t.

    Pat, Wales
    Agree (6) | Disagree (2)

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