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10 May 2017

Pupils Help Launch Walk To School Week 2017

Thousands of youngsters from across Northern Ireland are expected to take part in this year’s Travelwise NI ‘Walk to School Week’.

Over 200 schools have signed up to the annual walking initiative which will take place from May 15 – 19 and promotes walking as a sustainable way of getting to and from school.

Travelwise NI is encouraging even more teachers, parents and pupils to get involved with the aim of reducing the number of cars on the roads around schools during peak hours.

Walking regularly has many health benefits and helps young pupils develop greater personal independence. Many schools use this week as an opportunity to celebrate walking and to teach children how to do so in a safe manner. Recent statistics from the Travel Survey for NI indicate that over half of Primary School children travel to school by car and only 31 per cent by active travel methods such as walking or cycling. For post-primary school students only 18 per cent use active travel means.

Parents and pupils who live close-by schools are encouraged to consider walking instead of taking the car each morning. This will also go a long way in helping to decrease congestion around the school gate which is a worrying factor for many schools and their neighbouring communities.

Schools that have not yet registered for Walk to School Week can do so by emailing travelwiseni@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk . Further information is also available on the nidirect website www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/walk-school-week

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