Mary Glindon MP: walking the walk to and from school

A generation back, about 70% of primary school pupils walked to school but it has fallen to under half despite clear health and educational advantages.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

I support Living Streets, the UK charity for more everyday walking. The schools in their WOW campaign increase walking by nearly a quarter and reduce car journeys by nearly a third. A win-win all round.

This week I popped into Benton Dene Primary School to hear about the benefits from pupils and teachers.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The school recently topped the national WOW Top Ten leader board with just 7% of journeys being car trips all the way to the school gates.

The rest were active and over half were by foot all the way. I am delighted that it is the first North East school to do so.

The school has kept up the pace, with an average walk to school rate of 57 per cent since autumn 2023. It was wonderful to see how much the children love the WOW challenge.

We should all find ways to make daily travel more sustainable. Walking and wheeling to school is a great start. It provides health benefits for families and helps children concentrate in the classroom.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Cynthia Games at Living Streets rightly says that "this challenge adds a fun competitive element to walking to school and curbs congestion and pollution around the gates." Walking should be the natural choice for local journeys free from congested roads and pollution, reducing the risk of preventable illnesses and social isolation. Well done to Benton Dene. All power to their elbows, knees, feet, and ankles.

Living Streets can provide WOW fully funded to some primary schools. For details, visit