Although walking to school has declined in recent years, 49 per cent of school trips are still on foot. Walking to school represents 41 per cent of the average distance walked by all children annually. It is therefore a vital component of children's overall physical activity at a time when children take less and less exercise. As your report emphasises, childhood patterns of exercise are likely to persist into adult life. Today's sedentary child is tomorrow's heart attack victim.
Parental concern about traffic danger (often caused by other parents on the school run) and "stranger danger" are the main causes of the decline in school walking. These issues, and the health implications of longer school trips arising from "parental choice" in schools, need urgent attention as part of the Government's programme to improve childhood health.
The Pedestrians Association