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Leave the car at home and walk or cycle instead

As children and young people head back to school in September families are being encouraged to travel by foot, bike or scooter.

With roads expected to get a lot busier next month, parents and carers are being asked to play their part in cutting congestion and reducing carbon emissions and boosting children’s health.

Cllr Claire Dowling, East Sussex County Council’s lead member for transport and environment, said: “We know that, due to the Covid-19 restrictions, far more people are cycling and walking than ever before. With school runs resuming next month, now is the time for families to consider continuing to travel in a healthier and active way.

We appreciate that, as a rural county, it is not always possible for families to walk and cycle for all of the journey to school, but it could be part of the journey. Parking away from the school and walking, scootering or cycling the remaining part can reduce congestion in the immediate vicinity of a school.

“The health benefits to changing your school run routine can be significant. Currently only around half of East Sussex children aged five to 16 are meeting the UK Chief Medical Officer’s recommendations of at least 60 minutes moderate-vigorous activity per day across the week.”

In a bid to help families follow social distancing guidelines, the county council has submitted a bid to the Government Emergency Active Travel Fund.  If approved this could mean a pilot of “School Streets” outside a limited number of schools, where roads would be temporarily closed to vehicles during drop off and pick up times.

Those travelling by bus are encouraged to check for updates on East Sussex County Council’s website. A number of revised arrangements will be in place for the start of the new school term.

More information and advice about returning to school is available at www.eastsussex.gov.uk/backtoschool

Photo: Coen van de Broek

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