South Scotland MSP Martin Whitfield is encouraging schools and pupils in East Lothian and across the region to celebrate the strides they have made to improve air quality and get active by walking to school, as part of Walk to School Week (17-21 May 2021).

Walk to School Week is organised by Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking. It encourages families to walk, wheel, cycle or scoot to school and see the big differences that come from small steps, from healthier and happier children to fewer cars outside the school gates.

Fewer than half of children currently walk to school. The campaign is working to up this figure to meet Scottish Government targets to increase physical activity, reduce congestion and air pollution and increase the proportion of journeys made by walking and cycling.

Martin Whitfield MSP said:

“As a parent and former primary school teacher, I know the vital importance of encouraging children to choose active travel options to get to and from school.

“Walk to School Week gives children the chance to enjoy fresh air and exercise. It reduces congestion, improves road safety and means we have cleaner air and less problem parking around schools. The week provides a fantastic opportunity for families to give walking to school a go and see how they could make a more permanent change to their travel plans.

“I hope many more families across the South Scotland region will follow in the footsteps of the thousands of pupils who already walk to school and give it a go during Walk to School Week.”

Stuart Hay, Director, Living Streets Scotland said:  

“Walk to School Week is a fun, inclusive, free and simple activity, which improves the physical and mental wellbeing of children and celebrates walking for all.   

“Pupils enjoy the health and happiness that comes from walking, while schools and local communities enjoy reduced congestion and pollution.

“We’re thrilled that families nationwide are joining us this week and enjoying the fresh air, fun, freedom, and friendship that walking to school brings.”