Northumberland schools encouraged to Walk on Wednesdays

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More than 7,600 pupils and parents in Northumberland have been playing their part for sustainable transport by challenging themselves to walk to school at least once a week.

The Walk on Wednesdays (WoW) initiative aims to encourage children and their families to walk, cycle or use a scooter as the main way to get to school.

The scheme was first launched in 2007 and has grown in popularity since. This year’s WoW starts tomorrow, with 35 schools in Northumberland taking part.

Running throughout the school year, WoW aims to help reduce traffic congestion outside schools while also increasing children’s daily exercise.

With school pupil numbers projected to rise, switching to sustainable transport for the school run is expected to have an increasingly positive impact on congestion and children’s health.

Every school that registers with WoW will receive a free resource pack with the chance to win prizes at the end of each term. Visit www.gosmarter.co.uk

Coun Allan Hepple, cabinet member for economic growth, said: “Walking is a free and easy way to increase the amount of daily exercise our children do. Our walking rates are in decline as a nation and we need to change our attitudes because exercise has such a positive effect on health and wellbeing.

“Having fewer cars on the roads will cut down on congestion near our schools and help to reduce long-term environmental damage caused by carbon dioxide emissions. Safety is a priority, and walking to school can reduce traffic around school gates.”