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New campaign to encourage active travel to school

With pupils across the country returning to school today (September 1), Modeshift STARS has launched a new initiative to encourage parents and children to walk to school. 

The #StaySafeGetActive initiative is helping schools to create free ‘walking bubbles’ for families. The walking bubbles will involve a walking zone map to support active travel while also encouraging social distancing outside of the school gate. 

As part of the campaign, Modeshift STARS are also urging schools to place parking and driving restrictions around a five-minute radius of the school gates in order to improve air pollution and safety.

This initiative has launched following recent research revealed that only 51% of primary school children walk to school, compared to 70% a generation ago. 

Nick Butler, Modeshift STARS accreditation manager, said: ‘We want as many schools as possible to create a #StaySafeGetActive walking bubble to protect children and their families, helping them to enjoy a safer and more active journey to school.

‘Everyone where possible should walk, cycle or scoot to school. Where families must travel by car, we’d like them to find a safe place to park at least five minutes away from the school gates and walk for the final few metres to create a car-free zone around the school.’

Larissa Lockwood, director of Clean Air at Global Action Plan, said: ‘Returning to school is full of anxieties for parents, and simple street improvements like walking bubbles will drastically reduce the worry over children being able to get to school safely.

‘On top of this, cleaner air was one of the few silver linings of the COVID-19 lockdown. Through our collective behaviours - working from home, walking and cycling instead of driving – we saw and experienced extraordinary improvements in outdoor air quality.

‘If schools across the country rollout walking bubbles now, it will enable parents and children to continue these behaviours safely, and simultaneously keeping our air clean.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay 

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