Pupils spark plans to boost walking

Junior road safety officers from Edinburgh schools visit the City Chambers
Junior road safety officers from Edinburgh schools visit the City Chambers
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Safer streets and healthier pupils was the aim of a recent Edinburgh schools project as the kids put on their thinking caps to come up with new ideas to help motivate families to walk to school.

Living Streets Scotland, in partnership with Edinburgh Council, delivered the event for more than 40 junior road safety officers from Edinburgh schools at the City Chambers.

Workshops for the pupils ranged from rap writing to street games, WOW Motivator to playing street trumps.

They are now tasked with sharing what they learnt with the rest of their schools.

The pupils that attended are from schools that are part of the council’s School Street initiative – which, to alleviate traffic chaos around school streets, sees them close during peak drop off and pick up times.

Rebecca Simpson of Living Streets Scotland said: “We’re thrilled to be working with the City of Edinburgh Council to highlight the importance of making the journey to school as safe as possible to encourage children to walk more.

“Living Streets Scotland will be supporting the the council to grow the WOW programme in Edinburgh over the next academic year. Hopefully we’ll see an increase in the number of children walking to school as a result.

“2018 is the Year of the Young Person so it is only right that we enable children to play a lead role in supporting this goal!”

All of the schools take part in WOW – the year-round walk to school challenge from Living Streets.

Schools which take part in WOW see an increase in the number of children walking to school.

Edinburgh Council and Living Streets Scotland are both passionate about making the school journey as safe as possible for walking, so it made sense for them to work together to run this event.

Key partners also present to deliver workshops included Youth Scotland and In Hoodz we Trust.

Transport and environment convener Cllr Lesley Macinnes said: “Tackling congestion at the school gates and keeping children safe around schools are major priorities for our road safety team.

“Our School Streets programme is all about creating as safe and relaxed an atmosphere around schools as we can by discouraging parents from driving right up to the school gates at pick-up and drop-off.

“We’re delighted to work in partnership with Living Streets to promote awareness and to encourage more families to walk, scoot and cycle to school.”

Pupils across Scotland will be taking part in Living Streets’ Walk to School Week from 21 – 25 May during National Walking Month this May. Parents/carers who pledge to walk their child to school on the Living Streets website will receive hints and tips on how to make the walk to school safer and more enjoyable.