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Wirral children encouraged to walk to school
WIRRAL schoolchildren are being encouraged to take part in a walking-back-to-healthiness scheme that has achieved nationwide appeal.
The Walk to school project, led by Durham City Council, has attracted more than £4m from Government transport funding.
Its aim is to convey to young people the benefits of walking both for themselves through greater exercise and the environment by easing traffic congestion at peak times.
The £4.7m awarded to the initiative will be used to employ co-ordinators from partner organisation Living Streets in each of the 11 areas involved.
They will work directly with children, schools and local communities to spell out the benefits of walking to primary and secondary schools.
They will target locations where the school run is having a negative impact on congestion, journey times and economic growth.
More than 1,000 schools are involved across England, including 10 in Wirral.
Communities and parents will play their part and highway infrastructure improvements will be made with the long-term aim of making walking to school a natural experience.
Cllr Harry Smith, Wirral Council's cabinet member for streetscene and transport services, said: "I am delighted to hear of the success of the bid.
"We are proud that Wirral Council are partners in this initiative and we look forward to welcoming the Walk to School co-ordinator to the borough.
"One of the key objective of the Local Transport Plan is to promote the benefits of walking and cycling and this funding will make an important contribution to delivering that objective as well as helping us to grow the local economy, reduce carbon emissions and improve health and well-being."
As well as Wirral Council support for the Walk To School project has been given by Leicester City Council; Hertfordshire County Council; Hartlepool Borough Council; Blackpool Council; Tameside MBC; Buckinghamshire County Council; Hampshire County Council; West Sussex County Council; and Stoke on Trent City Council.