Active Travel

Beyond the thrill of a challenge, walking to school builds life-long healthy habits and the benefits are felt for years. Reconnecting children with nature and the area they live in, spending time exploring and chatting with their parents, guardians and friends should be a part of everyone's life no matter what background they come from. Walking is inclusive, affordable and fun.
As this year's National Walking Month draws to a close, I've been reflecting on what this May was like for me, for Living Streets, and for all those who received our #Try20 message loud and clear - that walking for just 20 minutes a day holds so many long-term health benefits.
2015 was the year of the adult colouring book. Their popularity caused a spike in sales of physical titles as they sold in their millions, providing stocking fillers and Secret Santa gifts nationwide. Bestseller lists remain full of them well into 2016: wild flowers, swear words, Jeremy Corbyn - you name it, you can colour it in.
It's difficult to open a newspaper at the moment and not read about the proposed 'sugar tax'. As we know, this is an attempt to tackle the ballooning childhood obesity problem. What you might not know is just how big the problem is.
We must address the issue of how we travel and investment into walking and cycling is needed to improve road infrastructure and educate us all on the many benefits partaking in active travel really brings. The situation is only due to become a bigger issue as our population increases and the NHS gets put under even more pressure. We need to act now.
Over the next 10 years, pupil numbers are going to increase. The walk to school is in long-term decline and it would impact greatly on future generations if something so vital to the health of our children became a thing of the past.
There can be few political decisions that are so heavily weighted in favour of one course of action.
We can no longer ignore this problem: both central and local government must now act to ensure people can chose to exercise as part of their normal day far more often and make walking and cycling the safest, easiest and most enjoyable way to travel around their community.