Cleaner air the focus for Walk to School Week 2020
Thousands of primary school children across Brighton & Hove will take part in Walk to School Week this week (5 – 9 October).
Some nurseries, pre-schools, nursery classes and childminders will also be Walking and Wheeling for Clean Air.
The week encourages parents, carers, children and staff to walk, scoot and cycle to the classroom. Those unable to walk the whole way are encouraged to walk at least the last 5 minutes of their journey, reducing traffic in the area around the school or nursery.
This year, Walk to School Week also coincides with Clean Air Day on Thursday 8 October where a host of virtual events will be taking place, including an online assembly for schools and panel discussions about the impact of air quality on our health.
Schools can also use a Schools Framework, an online tool which has a bespoke series of actions which schools can take to help reduce air pollution in and around the school premises. It will be made freely available to all schools across the UK and Ireland.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, more of us have been using active and sustainable travel to move around the city. We have seen fewer cars on the road and increases in the number of people cycling and walking short journeys.
In September, some city schools also began taking part in the School Streets project, closing roads close to school entrances during drop off and pick up times during term time.
Chair of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee, Amy Heley said: “It will be great to see so many of our city’s school children taking part and walking, cycling and scooting their way to the classroom.
“I’d encourage all parents and carers to get involved. Even if you have to use the car during drop off and pick up, think about walking the final 5 minutes of the journey because it can make such a difference to your health and reduce traffic around your child’s school.
“Improving air quality in the city remains an important goal and especially around our schools and nurseries. We all have a part to play and even making small changes to our daily routines can make a big difference over time.
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From September, 14 schools will be taking part in the city’s School Streets project, which aims to help get children safely back to school by making extra physical distancing space at the school gate.
We’re asking parents, carers and residents in Brighton & Hove if they could help support the safe travel of children into some of the city’s schools.