|Pupils Put Their Best Feet Forward To Save The Planet|
Campaign encourages families to ditch the car on the school run
Schoolchildren across the borough put their best feet forward this week in support of National Walk to School week 2007.
Thousands of pupils from 46 primary schools joined almost 2 million across the country, to say goodbye to the car and walking to school to show how they can take steps (literally) to save the planet.
Cllr Barbara Reid, Executive Member for Environment and Planning at Hounslow Council, said, “Taking the children to school in the car means children aren’t given the chance to learn the necessary skills to travel safely by themselves.
“Every September we see a big rise in the number of child accidents, particularly among boys who have just started secondary school.
“Most of these are because these children are now making their own way to their new secondary school, instead of being driven there, as they were in primary school.
“Walking to school is not only good for the environment, it’s also great exercise for children and their parents. If the journey is too far to walk all the way, getting off the bus a stop or two earlier, or parking further away and walking the rest of the journey, is a bit more exercise every morning.”
The theme of this years Walk to School week aims to show how walking rather than driving to school makes a big contribution towards cutting pollution. Similar events will be held throughout the country, ensuring the message gets out all over Britain.
And it is not just about the climate-change-causing carbon dioxide. In terms of local air pollution, the school run is one of the worst offenders. It’s those short, stop-start journeys with cold engines which are the most polluting - pumping out carbon monoxide, particulates and other compounds that are linked to worsening asthma symptoms and poor air quality.
Contrary to what some might believe, being cocooned in a car offers no protection from local pollution - in fact pollutants found inside the car are around three times higher than those experienced by pedestrians.
Andrew Fielding, National Walk to School Campaign Co-ordinator, said, “We’re encouraging people around the country to use Walk to School week to try out walking with their kids. It isn’t just good for the environment, it’s great for you too - walking for those 30 minutes a day means real quality time together, and the average walk there and back will burn more calories than the school’s PE quota. Give it a go and see how you find it - we doubt you’ll want to go back to the traffic jams afterwards!”
May 22, 2007