Families across Buckinghamshire are being urged to leave the car at home and map their own route to school.
Schools will be given their own tailored ‘Walking Zone Maps’ thanks to £10,000 in grants from Buckinghamshire County Council’s Public Health Team and Greater Aylesbury Local Area Forum (LAF).
The maps will be given to children to encourage them to have a short burst of activity before the school day and show walking and cycling routes to school.
Public Health Director Jane O’Grady said: ‘Encouraging children to be healthy is one of our main priorities. Walking to school can significantly contribute to the recommended 60 minutes of exercise per day.
As well as the health benefits, encouraging people to walk to school will reduce congestion, reduce car use and improve air quality.‘
Mark Kemp, Director for Growth, Strategy and Highways at Buckinghamshire County Council, said: ‘According to research conducted by The King’s Fund and Local Government Association, poor air quality, ill-health and accidents related to transport can cost over £40 million per year, which is quite alarming!
Swindon Borough Council has been running the maps scheme successfully for nearly four years and says it has seen a reduction in the number of pupils being driven to school.
We want the pupils of Buckinghamshire to do the same!‘.
The first school to get the maps was St Louis Catholic School in Aylesbury, other schools across Buckinghamshire will follow later.
Each student will receive a copy of the map and all of them will be available to download via a PDF on the schools website.