The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Asghar Khan, marked Walk to School Week by visiting Gledhow Primary School and joining in with a pedestrian skills class.
Gledhow Primary School is one of many schools across Leeds celebrating Walk to School Week, a campaign by Living Streets encouraging children to travel sustainably. The five-day walking challenge celebrates how walking to school can improve children’s physical and mental health, as well as improve air quality.
The day kicked off with a ‘Park and Stride’ event supported by Leeds North East Neighbourhood Policing team. As part of a trial scheme, parents and carers who would normally drop their children at the school entrance parked their cars at Gledhow Sports and Social Club, before walking with their children to the school gates. The children were cheered on and greeted by Leeds City Council road safety mascots, Kerby and Spike.
The Lord Mayor got involved in the fun by joining a Year 4 pedestrian skills class, which teaches children how to walk along footpaths and cross the road safely, as well as highlighting the benefits of active and sustainable travel.
Leeds City Council offer free pedestrian, cycle and scooter training and road safety lessons in schools across Leeds all year round. The experienced team of road safety trainers have developed a range of fun, age-appropriate and valuable lessons to teach children how to travel independently and safely.
Support is also given to schools to help them gain Modeshift STARS accreditation for promoting safe, sustainable and active journeys to school.
Councillor Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council executive member for infrastructure and climate, said:
“Walk to School Week is a great reminder that active travel can improve air quality for the local community, improve children’s physical health and boost mental wellbeing. Children who walk to school are happy, healthy and ready to learn.
“It’s amazing to see Gledhow Primary School take advantage of the free training Leeds City Council offer as it encourages their pupils, parents and teachers to walk to school and use sustainable modes of transport.
“We need everybody to get involved as we work towards our vision of Leeds becoming a city where you don’t need a car.”
The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Asghar Khan, said:
“Walking to school is a great way for children to add more physical activity to their daily routine. It also supports mental wellbeing, improves focus in the classroom, and reduces air pollution and traffic congestion at the school gates.
“It is great to see Gledhow Primary School trialling a Park and Stride site and taking part in pedestrian training for Walk to School Week. I enjoyed joining the class and learning some valuable road safety skills with the children. Gledhow Primary School is working towards Modeshift STARS accreditation and I’m excited to see what they achieve.
“As Connecting Leeds transform the city by creating safer, pedestrian-friendly spaces, segregated bus lanes and a cycle network, it’s important to teach children how to travel by foot, scooter or bike safely and confidently.”
Mrs Sarah Parkinson, Headteacher at Gledhow Primary School said:
“We are very passionate about encouraging our pupils, teachers and parents to use active and sustainable modes of transport. Our pupils enjoy taking part in Walk to School Week and it was amazing for the Lord Mayor to visit us and see our enthusiasm.
“Our first ‘Park and Stride’ event was a great success, and we are planning more exciting initiatives with the support of Leeds City Council to help our pupils walk, cycle and scoot to school.”