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MP urges pupils to take to the streets for Walk to School Week

25th September 2020

MP urges pupils to take to the streets for Walk to School Week


Gordon Henderson MP is urging pupils and parents to get more active by walking to school in aid of Walk to School Week between 5th – 9th October 2020.


Walk to School Week is organised by Living Streets, a UK charity which encourages people to don their walking shoes. It aims to encourage families to ditch polluting vehicles in the hope of starting new healthier and greener habits.


Mr Henderson said: “Walk to School Week gives children the chance to enjoy fresh air and exercise. It reduces congestion, improves road safety and means we have cleaner air around schools.


“There has never been a more important time for pupils to take up this mission as Swale council is currently going through the process of declaring its sixth Air Quality Management Area in the borough, where the level of pollutants is higher than the rate allowed in law.


“Walk to School Week provides a fantastic opportunity for families to give walking to school a go, and see how they could make a more permanent change to how they travel.


“I hope many more families in Sittingbourne and Sheppey will give it a go.”


A generation ago, 70% of children walked to school, with now less than half choosing to do so, according to last year’s National Travel Survey.


Recognising the importance of walking to school, the Government now wants 55% of primary school children to be walking to their classrooms by 2025. It set out the goal in its Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy.


Chief executive of Living Streets, Mary Creagh, said: “We’re thrilled local pupils in Sittingbourne and Sheppey are joining thousands of children nationwide to swap the school run for the school walk.


“We need safer streets so more families have confidence to walk to school. It’s a fun and easy way for families to get active.”


Living Streets is also campaigning for changes to the Highway Code and ban parking on pavements in a bid to “put people first”.