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Schools step out on Safari

PUBLISHED: 12:46 14 September 2009 | UPDATED: 15:00 03 July 2010

THOUSANDS of steps forward are being taken by children as more pupils and their parents are being encouraged to abandon the car for the journey to and from school.

THOUSANDS of steps forward are being taken by children as more pupils and their parents are being encouraged to abandon the car for the journey to and from school.

A survey in January found car use on the school run in Norfolk had dropped by 4.7pc in a year - on top of a 10.7pc reduction achieved since 2004. Now around 100 primary schools and 15,000 pupils have signed up for the new Steppers Safari scheme as the county builds on this success.

Under the Steppers Safari, pupils collect stamps in their Safari booklets every time they walk to school. They are rewarded with stickers every half term for their efforts. The scheme lasts for a whole academic year with the aim of establishing a walk to school habit among young people.

There are promotions such as Steppers Safari as part of theSchool Travel Plan, which sets out to encourage walking and cycling to school.

Local schools taking part in Steppers Safari include: Alderman Swindell Great Yarmouth, Blofield Primary, Brundall Primary, Fairhaven Primary South Walsham, Fleggburgh Primary, Hemsby Primary, Homefield Primary, Hopton Primary, Loddon Infant, Ludham Primary, Ormesby Infant, St Edmund's Primary Acle.

Adrian Gunson, Cabinet Member for Planning and Transportation, said: "Norfolk was the first county in the country to have a travel plan for every school, and this has paid off with significant reductions in car use. Many primary school children live quite close to school and if they walk or cycle it eases congestion around schools, as well as contributing to a healthy lifestyle. "Alongside school initiatives such as the Steppers Safari, the County Council will be investing a further £825,000 this year (2009-10) through the Safer and Healthier Journeys to School initiatives, which improves routes to school for pedestrians and cyclists. Wherever feasible, walking and cycling should be the first choice, rather than the last choice, for the journey to school."

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