ONE in four cars on our roads at peak times are on the school run. Change this and we’ll improve our children’s health.

The State of Global Air 2019 study (published April 3) shows that air pollution reduces life expectancy by 20 months on average worldwide and is a bigger killer than road incidents. For children, air pollution is more harmful – stunting their lung development and causing lifelong implications.

To reduce the levels of toxic air caused by motor vehicles, we need to encourage and enable more families to walk to school.

Walk to School Week takes place next month and schools across the UK have plans to encourage families to walk more. From behaviour change initiatives through to closing streets around the school; it’s important that each school finds what works for them. We’re proud to be helping over 3,000 schools UK-wide to take part this May.

It’s a misconception that children are protected from air pollution inside the car. But it is clear that the benefits of being physically active outweigh the air pollution risk and in walking to school, we become part of the clean air solution.

Tanya Braun

Head of policy and communications, Living Streets