Call keep up #ActiveTravel habits as the school run returns

With the start of the new school term on the horizon residents young and old are being urged to make ‘ActiveTravel a regular part of their day.

During lockdown many people started to walk more as well as try out cycling and running as a new way to get around while also boosting their health.

Many will have seen benefits to their health and mood while the environment also got a reprieve from carbon and other emissions as the number of petrol and diesel powered vehicles on the roads plummeted.

The start of a new school year usually means a return to old travel patterns for thousands of Oxfordshire residents, but this year it is hoped that many will take up the challenge to keep up some of their new found active travel ways.

County Councillor Liam Walker, Cabinet member for Highways Operation and Delivery, said: “The county council has done lots of work during lockdown to make Oxfordshire’s cycle lanes, foot ways roads and town centres better for people on foot and two wheels.

“We also have a long term vision to invest millions more in active travel and we want people to really think right now about keeping up the good work they have done in recent months.

“Continuing to walk and cycle can pay real dividends for your health and teaching your children that there really are other ways to get to school than the car.

“There are some real benefits for young people by getting involved in active travel. Children enjoy being active and some exercise at the start of the day gives them a boost meaning that they are alert and ready to learn.

“I know it won’t be right for everyone, but the more who people think of the car as an alternative than the norm the better. If there’s less cars on the roads everyone benefits.”

Anyone who is planning to make the journey to school a more sustainable one is being offered some tips to make for a better start to the day:

· Plan and practice your journey – make the first day back stress free by trying the journey out in the evening or at the weekend. This will also give you a good idea of how long it will take.

· Find the best and safest route to school for you. See if there are any cycle lanes on the route and also look for opportunities to travel down quieter side roads.

· If you are cycling, check your bikes ahead of time. Are they safe – check the brakes work and the tyres are pumped up.