The impacts of Walk to School

11th April 2014.

The Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) in March completed the first phase of a three part, 18 month evaluation of the Living Streets’ Walk to School programme. Living Streets is a national charity which works to ‘create streets that really put people first’. The Walk to School programme is a portfolio of tools and methods which are used in conjunction with local schools to encourage children (both primary and secondary) to walk to school as part of their normal routine.

Key findings:

  • Walking is important as part of national and local health, transport
    and environment policy objectives
  • Children who walk to school enjoy walking to school
  • Parents, and the perceived convenience to parents of walking to school, is
    the key determinant of whether children walk to school
  • The existing built environment can provide opportunities for or limit
    families’ scope to walk to school
  • Living Streets’ Walk to School programme, particularly in primary schools,
    successfully engages with children to increase walking behaviours
  • There is less scope to influence older children’s walking habits, in part due to the
    larger catchment areas of secondary schools