New partnership to help more pupils walk to school


Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council is the latest partner to join the Living Streets’ Walk to School Outreach programme.

For 90 years Living Streets has been a beacon for walking and in its early days campaigned to get the UK’s first zebra crossings and road speed limits.

During this academic year, ten primary schools in Blackburn with Darwen will have the opportunity to participate in WOW – the walk to school challenge from Living Streets.

The schools taking part are:

  • St Luke and St Philip’s C of E Primary Academy, Blackburn 
  • St Antony’s RC Primary, Blackburn 
  • St James C of E Primary School, Blackburn 
  • Daisyfield Community School, Blackburn 
  • Roe Lee Park Primary School, Blackburn 
  • St Michael with St John Church of England Voluntary Controlled School, Blackburn 
  • Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Blackburn 
  • St James C of E Primary School, Darwen
  • St Joseph’s RC Primary School, Darwen
  • St Cuthbert’s C of E Primary School, Darwen

WOW sees pupils record how they get to school on the WOW Travel Tracker and those who walk, wheel, cycle or scoot being awarded a monthly WOW badge.

On average, WOW schools see a 23% increase in walking rates and a 30% reduction in car journeys taken to the school gate.

The charity also works with a select number of schools to tackle the barriers that prevent families choosing to walk to school, such as unsafe walking environments.

Katherine Holcroft, Head of Major Projects, Living Streets said:

"It’s fantastic to partner with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council to help more pupils enjoy the health and happiness benefits of walking to school. Fewer cars at the school gates means cleaner air, safer streets and less congestion for the whole community.
We know that many families are put off walking because their local streets aren’t up to scratch. This new partnership will also allow us to find out what’s stopping people from walking and work to find solutions, so walking becomes a more attractive choice."

Cllr Julie Gunn, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education, said:

"This is a fantastic initiative to improve the health and wellbeing of young people and it encourages children to walk to school and become healthier. Walking to school has a positive impact on the environment and it’s important to educate young people about the benefits of walking to school more and how it can improve their wellbeing."

Cllr Jim Smith, Executive Member for Environment, added:

"It is important for families to encourage their children to walk to school more, there are so many benefits from walking to school including the fact that it’s better for the environment. It is our goal to achieve less pollution across the borough and by joining the Living Streets’ Walk to School Outreach programme, this will make a difference and make a positive contribution to the environment."