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A local school has launched a new scheme to help encourage pupils and parents to walk more often as part of their morning routine.

On Tuesday, Wansdyke Primary School in Whitchurch launched a new scheme to encourage its pupils to walk or cycle to school more often. It is designed to make it easier for families who live further away to walk in by giving them a place to drop off their cars before walking their children to the school gates.

Local pub, John Harvey Arms, has volunteered its car park to be used as part of the scheme. The pub is only a short walk from the school and gives the children a chance to stretch their legs at the beginning and at the end of the school day.

This scheme has been set up with the help of Bristol City Council and Living Streets, the national walking charity.

Councillor Mark Bradshaw, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “I want to congratulate Wansdyke Primary School for taking up this scheme. Schemes like this can encourage cars to no longer gather en masse outside schools but to spread the load into a nearby car park, reducing congestion and making the school gates a safer place for children.”

Councillor Claire Hiscott, Cabinet Member for Education, added: “Regular exercise can be so important for our health and our children’s development. Research shows that walking even just a short distance to school can improve a child’s concentration, mood and self-esteem. Not only is this important for their development it can also help them focus in the classroom.

“I encourage parents to take advantage of this initiative and take a step towards healthier lifestyle for both their children and themselves.”

Sharon Sims, Active Travel Champion for Wansdyke Primary School, said: “Wansdyke Primary School is passionate about reducing the amount of cars in and around our school gates in order to safeguard the health and safety of all of our pupils. We also aim to help our children understand how they can protect the environment and promote a healthy and sustainable change to the way in which they travel to school.

“Our latest venture is to launch a new Park & Stride initiative which will support our WOW walk to school challenge kindly provided to us from Living Streets, the UK charity dedicated to get us all walking to school, in collaboration with Bristol City Council.”

This launch is part of a week of events that the school are planning to try and improve the attitude of their pupils towards active travel. Guests from the school and the local community have been invited to take part.

Press release by Bristol City Council.

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