Walk to school scheme has the WOW factor

Posted on: Tuesday 21 May 2024
Griffithstown Primary WOW tracker

Ten primary schools have signed up to a scheme to encourage children to walk, scoot or cycle to school on a regular basis.

Pupils record how they travel to school each day as part of the Walk Once a Week - or WOW - initiative, launched by the Living Streets charity and funded by Welsh Government.

Pupils can earn up to 11 different badges for walking, cycling or scooting to school at least once a week, and the information can be used by schools to inform and develop their active travel plans.

Since 2021, Torfaen Council has helped 16 schools to develop individual active travel plans, which aim to reduce the number of pupils and staff who travel to school by car.

Griffithstown Primary School, in Pontypool, is one of the schools taking part in the WOW scheme and has recently developed an active travel plan.

Deputy Headteacher Cerian Pugh said: "Our active travel school plan, together with the WOW tracker, has encouraged many pupils to use their scooters and bikes when they would have typically come by car.

"The recent installation of a scooter and bike stores has also made a big difference to the number of pupils travelling actively to school."

Councillor Mandy Owen, Executive Member for Environment, said: "This week is Walk to School Week which is a great opportunity for families to see if they can travel actively to school.

"Even those who live too far away can still take part by parking further away from school and walking the remaining distance.  

"As the WOW initiative shows, walking or cycling to school just once or twice a week can make a big difference to the amount of traffic near schools, which is safer and healthier for pupils."  

Research from the Living Streets charity shows schools which take part in the WOW initiative see car journeys reduce by 30 per cent on average and walking rates increase by nearly a quarter.

For information about the WOW scheme or active travel school plans, contact  donna.edwards-john@torfaen.gov.uk  

Last Modified: 21/05/2024 Back to top