Fringe Box



A Quarter Of Children Who Live Within A Mile Are Driven To School

Published on: 24 May, 2013
Updated on: 25 May, 2013

By Maria Rayner

A walking bus

A walking bus logo – Walking bus schemes can help getting children to school safely without motor cars

A report out this week has revealed that 27% of parents of 5-11 year-olds automatically drive their children to school, while 21% would never consider walking.

The survey, undertaken by YouGov for charity Living Streets, comes at the beginning of national Walk to School Week and polled parents whose children lived within a mile of their school.

County Cllr Mark Brett-Warbarton (Con, Guildford SE) said: “In a community it should be safe and easy for children to walk to school, however there are many factors [which affect this] for example: the season, weather, time pressure for parents to get to work, as well as the nature and location of a school.

“When children walk to school there is a double impact. It encourages fitness and relieves congestion on the roads. It helps everyone.”

Problems caused by school run traffic in Onslow Village have featured in debates about planned expansion of schools in the area. The major concern of neighbouring residents appeared to be the possibility of more traffic and congestion.

School children warning sign

School children warning sign

Surrey County Council do not have specific figures for the numbers of children who walk to school in Guildford, however, the council runs its own initiative to encourage parents not to drive them.

Catherine McManus, secretary of Boxgrove Primary School, said: “We’re not taking part in Walk to School Week, but we will be joining the Golden Boot, in fact our banner arrived today.”

Cheryl Faure, who organises the Golden Boot Challenge for Surrey County Council, said: “We have 204 schools taking part, that means 56,000 children. 24 of those schools are in Guildford. Last year we saw green travel rise by 11% during the challenge weeks.”

Time pressed parents are given advice for making their child’s school run greener. One tip is to “park and stride”, drive some of the way and walk for 10 minutes, another is to walk-share with other parents if you have children in different schools. Burpham Primary School operates a successful walking bus.

This year’s Golden Boot challenge takes place between 3rd – 28th June. Click here for registration details.

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