Hundreds of Runcorn children are putting their best foot forward and walking to school thanks to a new community project.
The partnership, between Living Streets– the UK charity for everyday walking – Riverside and local schools, is part of Riverside’s £20m, 10 year commitment to regenerating the Halton Lea area.
It means the school children at Palace Fields, Hallwood Park and Our Lady’s Primary Schools are now taking part in WOW, Living Streets’ year-round walk to school challenge.
In the first five months of the project:
- Walking has on average increased from 43% to 52%.
- Car use has dropped on average from 36% to 21%.
- Park and stride (parking 5 minutes away and walking the last part) is up from 6% to 20%.
- 79% of all trips to school are active – an increase from 60% (active is walk, scoot, cycle and park and stride).
Dean Butterworth, Riverside’s Regional Director for Liverpool City Region, said: “This is an inspiring project which is helping to reduce traffic on streets around schools, making them a safer place for young people, more pleasant for local residents.
“It’s also making the air cleaner and greener by reducing carbon emissions.”
“We’re delighted with the work Living Streets have done and the level of support we’ve had from schools and families and this just goes to show what we can achieve when we all work together.”
Joe Irvin, Chief Executive of Living Streets, said: “Walking to school is an easy way for children to fit more activity into their day. More children walking to school means fewer cars around the school gates – making them safer and cleaner places.”
“WOW has increased walk to school rates in over 2,000 schools across the UK. It’s simple to run and pupils love to take part. Just a few minutes of a teacher’s day is needed to make a big difference.
“We can’t wait to see what a difference it makes to the health and happiness of more pupils in Runcorn this year.”
When running WOW, schools see an average 23 per cent increase in pupils walking to school and a corresponding drop in car use; reducing congestion outside the school gates, increasing safety and helping in the fight against air pollution – all whilst children benefit from being more active.
For more information about how Living Streets could help your area, visit https://www.livingstreets.org.uk/