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Pupils taking part in fun walk to school challenge

Three primary schools in Swansea are taking part in a fun challenge aimed at encouraging more pupils to walk, scoot and cycle to school to improve their health and reduce congestion and pollution outside of the school gates.

Whitestone Primary Walk to School Challenge

Whitestone Primary Walk to School Challenge

Whitestone and Grange in West Cross, along with Mayals, have all signed-up to the Walk to School Challenge - a national initiative to reduce car journeys by pupils and their families.

Using an interactive travel tracker pupils report each morning how that travelled to school.

If pupils walk, scoot or cycle at least once a week every week for a month they earn a badge with a different one to collect each month.

Rebecca Fogarty, Swansea's Councillor Champion for Transport, has worked with the three schools so that they can take part.

She was joined by Council Cabinet Member for Education Robert Smith and Cabinet Member for Environment and Infrastructure Andrew Stevens on a visit to Whitestone to see how the scheme is working.

Cllr Fogarty said: "It was really impressive to see the enthusiasm of the pupils and I'd like to thank members of the school who showed us how they are recording their journeys to school each day.

"Next term we will be going back again to assess the impact it has had and to see if other schools would benefit from a possible wider pilot project.

"Where it is safe and practical to do so walking to school has many benefits for pupils, for their families and for the environment.

"Any initiative that helps to take cars off the road also helps to reduce congestion outside the school gates at the start and end of the school day."

Organisers of the Walk to School Challenge say on average those schools that take part see a 30% reduction in car journeys taken to the school gate and a 23% increase in walking rates.

Whitestone's Deputy Headteacher Rachel Kissick said: "The Walk to School Challenge is a great opportunity for our children to directly contribute to lessening traffic congestion around our school and West Cross, as well as starting the day with some exercise. Gaining badges as an incentive is an added bonus for them."

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