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Ealing children walking to school in 2022

Let’s Walk to School

Ealing Council is celebrating Walk to School Week from 15 to 19 May. Backed by the charity Living Streets, the five-day walking initiative highlights walking and other active ways to travel to school.

Did you know that a quarter of London’s morning peak hour traffic is made up of families on the school run? In Ealing alone, the majority (84%) of primary school children live within a mile of their school, which would only take around 20 minutes to walk or five to cycle.

So, why don’t you encourage the children in your household to make a personal pledge to Walk to School this week?

Not driving for the entire school journey or even a part of it not only reduces air pollution and traffic congestion on Ealing’s streets, but improves road safety too. It’s also a fun and easy way of getting and staying active as a family.

Over 750 schools across the UK and at least 30 in Ealing took part in Walk to School Week last year.

Councillor Deirdre Costigan, the council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for climate action, said: “Walk to School Week is more than just a fun event for children; it’s an opportunity for our entire community to come together and prioritise health, sustainability and safety. By encouraging more families to walk to school, we can reduce traffic congestion and air pollution, while also promoting physical activity and a sense of community spirit.”

Improving the school run together with our community

Ealing Council’s school streets programme aims to encourage children across the borough to travel to and from school in a safe, fun and active way by introducing school streets at 50 of Ealing’s schools by 2026.

A school street is where the streets around a school are closed to most traffic at school opening and closing times. This spring term the council launched four more school streets – at Viking, Tudor, Brentside and St Vincent’s primary schools, taking Ealing to 21 schools with a school street.

Having more school streets in the borough helps to cut air pollution, create a safer and more pleasant environment around schools and encourage children to walk, cycle and scoot.

If you must drive to school…

Don’t forget the importance of switching off your vehicle engine even for a quick stop. It’s a very simple action that can have a big impact on the air quality near schools. Let’s keep Ealing free of idling – running your vehicle’s engine when it is not moving. If half of all cars in London turned their engines off at traffic lights for just one minute, it would save nearly 30,000 kg of carbon dioxide – that is a weight of some 30 elephants!

Put on your walking shoes and join in the fun

Parents, carers and children, join in this year’s Walk to School Week and don’t forget to send us your photos on aroundealing@ealing.gov.uk with Walk to School Week as a subject line and we will publish them on our social media channels. We can’t wait to see your photos.

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