Campaign #safetoschool…

As you well know, we live in a City.  Big, beautiful, bustling Bristol.  We love living in our neighbourhood, which has a vibrant community, full of doers, life lovers and great people.  Living here is pretty great. Bristol is a forward thinking City, we have our very own elected Mayor, it’s the Green Capital of Europe for 2015, an arty City with amazing festivals, musicians, theatre and more.  I think it’s the best place to live (but I am biased!).

In all Cities, towns and villages across the UK, traffic is becoming a problem.  Roads are getting busier, and very much the domain of the vehicle.

Every morning I walk or scoot my children to school.  We are lucky that it’s not far a journey and takes us about 15 minutes to get there.  But we do have to cross a couple of big roads on our route.  I would love to cycle, but feel the route is just too much for them at the moment.  So we scoot – or rather they scoot, I run behind, hot and out of breath!

Sustrans has just launched their #safetoschool campaign and I have been asked to be on their blogger panel (alongside some other fabulous bloggers).  Here is a little about the campaign:

The campaign has a vision for every child to be able to make the journey to school by bike, scooter or foot. Our call to action is that every child should have the right to a safe walk, scoot or bike to school.
Even though the average trip to school is only 1.8 miles for primary schools and 3.4 miles for secondary, walking and cycling to school is declining. In 1971, eight out of 10, seven and eight year olds walked or cycled to school on their own, but now 50% of young children are never allowed to cross roads on their own.
The problem is that our streets are not safe enough for children to get to school the way that they should – actively and independently. For more information about the Campaign for Safer Streets have a read here .

Brilliant Sustrans are asking us all to get involved.  Next week (9th-13th June) is Bike to School Week 2014, with the aim of encouraging more families to cycle to school.  We have taken up Sustrans challenge and Dan, the boys and myself will be cycling or scooting to and from school.  They are even giving us head cameras to document some of our journey, let’s hope the boys talk about something other than Ninjago the whole way there!

So will you be taking up the challenge and join us?

You can start by writing to your local MP – an easy form can be filled in via the Sustrans website.  And please use the hashtag #safetoschool to tweet your journey, your thoughts and ideas.

Wish us luck!

Lou Archell, a writer, photographer, stylist and founder of Littlegreenshed.  A UK lifestyle & travel blog

Lou is also a busy mum of two amazing boys and the founder of Sisterhood Camp – an annual creative retreat for recharging and empowering brilliant ladies, Lou is passionate about supporting and inspiring others whether through her workshops, writing, photography or lifestyle hacks.

  • Let me start by saying I love Bristol, A great city I don’t get to visit often enough. Best of luck with the week, I’m joining in although in deference to distance and age of children we’re walking / scooting / going by bus or train.

  • Bristol is great! i’m not too far away from it and have only been twice, once on a coach going through it and the other time was with my sister ~ we loved the arty culture of the place. I must go back and explore. Ive never learnt to drive, so walk my daughter to primary school (luckily only up the hill)…but am shocked by neighbours in 4X4’s driving their kids a 5 min drive away…i dont even mind school runs when its raining, my daughter loves looking at all the nature and stroking neighbours cats on the walls on the way ~ we have some lovely little convo’s on the school walk. Sometimes i do take the scooter with us, but usually we are happy just to use our leggys…i walk everywhere or get a bus to places, but you notice things more being outside your car rather than in it. Seeing the changing seasons is a joy to us while walking… i’d love to get a bike though too…i had one years ago and would like to treat myself to one. lovely posts at always x

  • I was really interested to read this as we’ve got our Walk To School Week next week, building on previous Scoot and Bike To School Days this year. Sadly I live too far to get into work by walking on public transport (at 6.30am with bags of teaching resources it’s just not practical) – I’m going to get a bike so that I can travel by different means the rest of the time. x

  • Good for you – it makes me so cross that they’ve gated all the back alleys round here in Cardiff. It was all done on the back of a ‘crime fighting’ inititiative – we all got sent a ‘would you like to be murdered in your bed or shall we gate your alley?’ letter. No amount of protesting about public rights of way and safe routes to school gets round the culture of fear propaganda.

  • Great idea Lou, and so pleased you’ve been asked to join in. We’re lucky enough to live in a small village where we can walk, scoot or bike to school, and this was definitely one of the reasons I chose the school. I know it’s not possible for everyone, but the more we demand the option the more likely we will start getting councils and the Government to think of people above cars. I’ll get on to the Sustrans website now – seems like an easy way to make a difference. Antonia x

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