MP Graham Stuart has welcomed that Beverley Minster pupils are keeping active and improving air quality by taking part in this year’s Walk to School Week.
This year, pupils and their parents across the country are being urged to ditch the car on the school run, and instead walk, cycle, or scoot to school.
The annual week is organised by Living Streets, a charity founded in 1929 whose early campaigning led to the UK’s first zebra crossings and speed limits.
Now, their aim is to make walking the first choice for people making local journeys. Walk to School Week is used as a chance to show how big differences can come from small, achievable steps: from improving children’s health to decongesting local streets.
After writing to schools in his constituency to encourage them to take part in the week, Graham has said he was ‘delighted to hear from Beverley Minster Primary School, confirming that their pupils would be taking part.
“As we emerge from pandemic-enforced homeschooling, Walk to School Week presents a real opportunity for children to enjoy the fresh air and exercise that they might have missed out on thanks to lockdown. Just by walking to school, we can cut congestion, improve road safety and promote cleaner air.
“Some families might not be used to walking to school, so I hope that this week can encourage more people to give it a go and make a conscious effort to incorporate walking into their travel plans for the future.
“It’d be great if other schools in my constituency could follow in the footsteps of the pupils at Beverley Minster and give walking to school a go.”
A generation ago, 70% of children walked to school, but the number of children commuting to school by foot is now less than half of this. In recognition of the importance of boosting these figures, the Government has set a target to get 55% of primary school pupils walking to school by 2025.
Mary Creagh, Chief Executive of Living Streets added;
“Walk to School Week is a fun, inclusive, free, and simple activity, which improves the physical and mental wellbeing of children and celebrates walking for all.
“Pupils enjoy the health and happiness that comes from walking, while schools and local communities enjoy reduced congestion and pollution.
Rachel Hatter, Headteacher at Beverley Minster, commented;
“During this year’s Walk to School Week, I look forward to seeing more and more of our pupils and parents making this vital adjustment to the way they get to school. This seemingly small change in our daily routine can do wonders for the mental and physical wellbeing of our pupils, making sure they are more refreshed and ready to learn as they’re dropped off at the school gate.
“I believe this will set an enormous example to our young learners, making them wiser to their personal health needs and those of the local community and environment.”