South Woodford pupils praised by London's walking and cycling commissioner for walk to school efforts
PUBLISHED: 15:00 23 May 2019
London's walking and cycling commissioner Will Norman joined pupils in Redbridge to celebrate the strides they've made to get healthier by walking to school.
To mark the mid-point of charity Living Streets' national Walk to School Week, Will Norman heard from pupils first-hand on why they enjoy walking to school.
Pupils at Churchfields Junior School in South Woodford are currently taking part in WOW - a year-round walk to school challenge with UK charity, Living Streets.
The project rewards children who walk to school at least once a week with collectable badges and the initiative has been shown to increase walking rates by 23 per cent on average, with a corresponding drop in car use - helping to reduce congestion and pollution around the school gates.
Will Norman, Walking & Cycling Commissioner for London, said: "I'm delighted to join children from Churchfields Junior School during Walk to School Week. It's great to see that Living Streets are encouraging so many pupils to walk to school.
"Walking, cycling and scooting to school are fun and easy ways to build more activity into the day - and active kids are healthier, happier and do better at school.
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"We're investing record amounts to make walking the safest, easiest and most enjoyable way of getting around no matter how old you are - helping tackle the air pollution crisis and reduce congestion."
Outer London walking to school rates are currently lower than the national average (51 per cent), at 44 per cent. This compares to the London average of 53 per cent.
Transport for London's walking action plan sets out a vision to see this rate increase to 57 per cent by 2024 across London.
Churchfields School has already seen walking rates reach 72 per cent since running WOW.
Joe Irvin, chief executive at Living Streets, said: "I'm delighted that Will Norman was able to join us to see first-hand the fantastic impact WOW is having in schools in Greater London.
"Walking to school is an enjoyable experience and an easy way for children to fit some valuable exercise into their day.
"It's national Walk to School Week and I hope the pupils at Churchfields Junior School inspire others across Greater London to start walking more too.
"They'll be getting healthier and helping London cut traffic congestion and pollution at the same time."