Step lively and join walk week

PARENTS are being urged to leave the car at home and to walk their children to school.

The appeal from Hartlepool Borough Council road safety chiefs comes ahead of Walk to School Week 2012, which is a national campaign, starting on Monday, May 21.

The campaign was set up in 1995, with over one million children from across the country taking part last year.

Eight schools in Hartlepool already take part in the Walk Once a Week scheme, and the council will be providing a number of schools with packs containing information, rewards and charts for recording children’s progress.

Robert Snowball, the council’s sustainable travel officer, said that walking to school had a number of benefits in addition to exercise, including reducing congestion at school gates and improved concentration in class.

He said: “Last year, over one million children in over 4,000 schools nationwide shunned the family car as part of the Walk to School Week and we hope families in Hartlepool will once again do their bit to support the event.

“In Hartlepool, we encourage walking all year round, but Walk to School Week is a key element of our campaign to promote safe and active travel.

“Even if people are unable to complete the whole journey on foot, we would ask them to consider walking part of the way.”

Further information on the scheme is available from Mr Snowball on (01429) 523259.