Crawley Borough Council and local walking and cycling charity, Sustrans is urging parents across the borough to try walking, cycling or scooting to school with their children as part of efforts to create a safer, less congested environment at the start of the new term.
The council hopes that parents will play their part by leaving the car at home or parking away from the school gate to help families maintain social distancing in front of the school.
Walking, cycling or scooting for the school run will also help to reduce congestion and air pollution. More active travel will help relieve pressure on public transport too.
Recently released guidance from the Department for Education, shows that due to physical distancing restrictions on public transport, at least 50 per cent of journeys to school of two miles or less, need to be walked and cycled to allow space for those travelling further on public transport.
The council is also encouraging schools to sign up for Sustrans’ Bike to School Week from 28 September to 2 October.
Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Sustainability, Councillor Gurinder Jhans, said: “The pandemic has forced us to make many changes to our lifestyles and this includes how we travel. It’s really important that moving forwards we all make the effort to ensure our young people are safe and healthy. I would encourage everyone to try, walking, cycling or scooting to school.”
Sarah Leeming, Sustrans Head of Delivery in the south, said: “As we begin to emerge from the Covid-19 crisis and families are looking for physically distanced ways to move around, we need to work together to ensure the school run is as safe and healthy as possible.
“Active travel is a great way to reduce congestion around the school gate and give your children a healthy start to the day.
“We know from our work with children that they want to walk, cycle or scoot their journeys to school. Bike to School Week at the end of September is a great way to get inspired. Please go to our website to find out about free events, competitions and information packs!”
The council fund Sustrans work in schools across the borough to help encourage more children to walk and cycle. This includes practical activities, like bike skills sessions, led rides and walks, safety and awareness incentives as well as active travel competitions.
For more information on Bike to School week please go to: https://www.sustrans.org.uk/our-blog/projects/2019/uk-wide/bike-to-school-week/