More than 100,000 kids from 600 schools across the UK are marching for road safety today (12 June) as part of Brake’s Giant Walking Bus.
The aim of the march is to encourage drivers to slow down to 20mph or below around homes, schools and shops. It also calls for more safe walking and cycling measures including safer pavements, paths and crossings.
Brake has surveyed more than 11,000 children to hear their views on how to make streets safer. 76% of those surveyed said that more pupils would walk or cycle to school if roads were made safer; 54% said their route to school needs to be made safer for walking and cycling; 69% want more paths, cycle paths and crossings; and 33% said they are scared by traffic when walking or cycling in their neighbourhood.
Brake says that almost as many primary school children in Britain are now driven to school as walk, and that parents’ concerns for safety are a barrier to getting more children walking and cycling.
The GO 20 campaign – by Brake and a coalition of charities – calls for 20mph to become the norm in built-up areas, and appeals to drivers to slow down to make roads safer for child and adult pedestrians and cyclists.
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake, said: “Many parents are in a difficult situation when it comes to letting their kids walk or cycle, often forced to weigh up the benefits of their kids being active and getting out and about with the risk of their child being knocked down and hurt.
“We need to make it easier for them by making roads safer for children and people of all ages, to help kids have the fun, active childhood they deserve – and a proven way to do this is to reduce traffic speeds.
“We’re appealing to drivers to listen to the thousands of kids marching today, and take the simple step of slowing down to 20mph or less around homes, schools and shops. It’s a case of putting kids before getting there a few minutes faster.
“We’re also urging the government to work towards 20mph being the norm in all communities, to help kids everywhere get walking without being put in danger.”
For more information contact Ellen Booth at Brake on 01484 550067.