Children: Cycling and Walking

Department for Education written question – answered on 3rd July 2020.

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Photo of Geraint Davies Geraint Davies Labour, Swansea West

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of (a) walking and (b) cycling to school on children's health.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

Local authorities have a statutory duty to promote sustainable school travel. The Department’s guidance sets out that this duty should have a broad impact, including providing health benefits for children, and their families, through active journeys, such as walking and cycling; as well as improvements in air quality to which children are particularly vulnerable.

Government advice, particularly during the COVID-19 outbreak, is to walk or cycle to school where possible. This will not only help reduce the spread of infection and reduce demand on public transport, but also have enormous benefits for children’s health.

The Department for Transport’s cycling and walking investment strategy sets out the Government’s ambition to make cycling and walking the natural choice for shorter journeys, or as part of a longer journey. Details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cycling-and-walking-investment-strategy.

On 9 May the Department for Transport announced a £2 billion package to create new era for cycling and walking: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/2-billion-package-to-create-new-era-for-cycling-and-walking.

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