N E W S F E E D S >>>

Caithness News Bulletins May 2003

May News Index April News Index

Caithness.org News Index

Front Page Archives

Education Index Walking Index    


Highland primary and secondary school pupils are being encouraged by The Highland Council to put their best foot forward and support ‘National Summer Walk to School Week’ from Monday 19th to Friday 23rd May.

Not just aimed at improving the health of pupils, the national campaign aims to improve the well-being of families, and communities who are both involved in and live around or on routes to schools.

Lisa Graham, Road Safety Officer with The Highland Council’s Transport Environment and Community Services said: “The school-run accounts for a sizeable chunk of rush-hour traffic. It causes congestion, pollution and danger outside most schools every Monday to Friday.

“If more families were able to walk to school occasionally, then communities would experience the environmental and health benefits associated with fewer vehicles on the roads in their neighbourhood. We'd also be fitter and healthier.”

Traditionally, ‘Walk to School Week’ is a one week campaign to raise awareness of the problem associated with the over-dependence on driving children to school. Parents are encouraged to walk to school with their young children as often as possible during the week and beyond. If the journey is too far to walk, then the message is, drive part-way and walk the rest - keep the school gate area clear of traffic. Teachers are provided with walk to school teaching resources and many arrange local walks with their pupils.

Some of the reasons given by the campaign for supporting walk to school week and encouraging children to walk to school are:

·     The number of journeys which are made on foot has fallen by 13% in the last ten years.
·     The average number of miles traveled on foot has fallen by 18% in the last ten years: Cycling has
        declined by 34% in the same period.

·    The average UK resident spends about 9 days of the year in a car.
·    The proportion of children traveling to school by car in Great Britain in 1975-76 was just 12%.
        Some very recent local authority surveys report that almost half of primary school children now
        travel to school by car.

  • One in five children aged 5-10 travelled to school unaccompanied ten years ago; today, the figure is just one in nine.

  • Cars ferrying 11-15 year olds to school in the UK emit 187,422 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. If just one in twenty of those children were to walk or cycle instead, this would reduce the level by nearly 10,000 tonnes a year.

Further information can be found on the official walk to school website at www.walktoschool.org.uk/

The National Autumn Walk To School Week dates are: Monday 6th - Friday 10th October 2003, which is also International Walk To School week.