Sustrans guides the way for children in Luton

Sustainable transport charity hands out free walking and cycling maps, in effort to tackle childhood obesity

by Rebecca McIlhone   May 8, 2009  

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Youngsters in Luton are being given free walking and cycling maps to encourage them to adopt healthier lifestyles.

Sustainable transport charity Sustrans is distributing the free maps to schools across the town - which has higher than the national average levels of childhood obesity.

The campaign started in South Luton and Farley, which the NHS Luton Obesity Management team has targeted as a key area for its high numbers of overweight children.

The maps are the first in a series of three Active Travel maps for Luton being given to children thanks to a partnership between Sustrans and Luton Borough Council.

Sarah Leeming, Sustrans’ Active Travel Coordinator, said: “The number of children who are overweight or obese in Luton is higher than the national average so it is vital that children, parents and teachers know the benefits of becoming active.

“Children who walk or cycle to school can easily get the recommended levels of physical activity they need by taking part in other fun games and activities.

“The Active Travel map will really help families plan their route to school and inform parents about the health benefits of walking and cycling.”

The map includes details of two Park and Stride schemes which parents can use on the school run to make sure their children walk part of their journey to and from school. There is also information on health walks through areas of natural and historical interest such as Kidney Wood Heritage Trail.

Sustrans and Luton Borough Council School Travel Planning team will monitor the impact the initiatives have on walking and cycling rates.

For further information visit www.sustrans.org.uk/activetravelluton