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Families urged to take to their feet this International Walk to School Month as car usage increases

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  • Pupils around the globe will celebrate International Walk to School Month this October.
  • Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking is urging UK families to join in and enjoy the benefits of safer streets and being active.  
  • Data released by the Department for Transport this week revealed that car usage and road casualties in Great Britain started to increase again in 2021, the year that lockdown ended.
  • Members of the public are being asked to share their #WalkToSchoolStories to celebrate the benefits that come from walking to school.

Living Streets, the UK charity behind the biggest walk to school campaign is encouraging families to leave the car at home for International Walk to School Month this October. 

Pupils around the globe will walk to school to celebrate International Walk to School Month and Living Streets is urging UK families to join them.

The results of the Reported road casualties Great Britain data released by the Department for Transport (29 September 2022) show that we drove more in 2021, the year that lockdown ended, than in 2020. At the same time, road casualties started to increase.   

Casualty numbers remained lower than the pre-pandemic levels but are higher compared to 2020 when restrictions were tighter and motor traffic usage lower. 

Stephen Edwards, Chief Executive, Living Streets said:  

“We all saw the benefits to our health and air quality when we walked more and drove less. Quieter streets are safer, cleaner and healthier streets. Where possible we should avoid a return to the car and instead walk, wheel or cycle our short journeys.

“Making small changes can also help alleviate some of the rising living costs we are all facing, while we reap the health, social and environmental benefits of moving more.”

Living Streets is being supported this year by Dr Ronx, who has joined the charity as the celebrity ambassador for WOW – their walk to school challenge. The children’s television presenter and emergency doctor is joining the charity in encouraging more families to walk to school.

A generation ago, 70 per cent of children in Great Britain walked to school but now it’s dropped to around half.

Dr Ronx said:

“October is International Walk to School Month – the perfect opportunity to give walking to school a go. Walking to school is simple, fun and free. More children walking to school means fewer cars around the school gates, better air quality, less congestion and less road danger.

“With notable increases in air pollution, rising childhood inactivity and post-lockdown poor mental health, encouraging children to be more active and ditching school run drives for more sustainable modes of transport is imperative.”

Living Streets is running a prize draw throughout October and encouraging people to share their #WalkToSchoolStories, whether they are walking to school now with children or grandchildren or sharing a childhood memory.

To enter the prize draw and for free walking resources, visit livingstreets.org.uk/October.

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