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Highland motorists warned to be alert to Walk to School Week (13/05/11)
Motorists in the Highlands are being alerted by The Highland Council that Monday 16 – Friday 20 May is National Walk to School Week and over 11,000 pupils at 89 primary schools throughout the region could create an increase of pedestrians around schools.
Walk to School Week is a national campaign with a simple aim – to encourage all parents and children to make walking to school part of their daily routine.
The campaign is run by Living Streets, the national charity which stands up for pedestrians and is coordinated locally by The Highland Council’s Road Safety team in TEC Services in partnership with Highland schools.
Councillor John Laing, Chairman of The Highland Council’s TEC Services committee said: “Keeping our children safe, healthy and active is a vital part of their upbringing. Walk to School Week is an excellent opportunity to promote road safety issues and to drive the message home that we are all responsible for the health and safety of our young people whether we are a parent; motorist; pedestrian or pupil.”
To coincide with Walk to School Week 54 schools in the Highlands are taking part in a “Golden Boot” competition organised by the Council’s Road Safety team to see which school has the highest proportion of pupils walking to and from school.
Debbie Tuckwell, Highland Council’s Assistant Road Safety Officer said: “Not only are we encouraging road safety awareness we are also encouraging healthy lifestyles. National statistics have shown over recent years that this campaign is vital:
- The number of children travelling to school by car over the past 20 years has doubled. (Department for Transport).
- In 2008, less than half of school journeys were made by foot (48%). With 43% made by car (National Travel Survey 2008).
- Obesity is now the second biggest cause of death after cancer. (World Health.
- Walking one mile (1.6km) can burn up at least 100 calories of energy and walking two miles (3.2km) a day, three times a week, can help reduce weight by one pound (0.5kg) every three weeks. (Department of Health).