Parents with children of school age (4-18 years) in the UK are in support of safer crossings, lower speed limits (and car-free zones outside schools.
A YouGov survey commissioned by Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking, ahead of Walk to School Week (5-9 October 2020), also found support for banning pavement parking (49 per cent) and efforts to reduce so-called ‘rat-running’, where motorists use residential areas as a short cut for getting to and from their destinations. (44 per cent).
The parents polled believed the biggest benefits of walking to school for their children were being physically fitter (88 per cent), getting fresh air (84 per cent), being cost-free (72 per cent) and reducing congestion (71 per cent). Feedback also showed that parents believe physical distancing “is easier when walking” and that walking to school allowed their children to learn road safety and independence skills.
Fewer than half of primary school children currently walk to school
The Government has provided £225 million for councils to install emergency active travel measures that meet the needs of their communities. Some councils’ schemes have attracted controversy, but the poll reveals a “silent majority” are in favour. Living Streets is campaigning for action to encourage families to choose to walk, scoot or cycle to school.