A CAMPAIGN has been launched to get more kids walking to school.

Parents across Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire are being encouraged to do their bit by taking part in a study which aims to identify the barriers which prevent youngsters from walking to lessons.

According to Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking, more than 70 per cent of primary school-aged children walked to school a generation ago.

But this figure has now dropped to around 50 per cent as more and more parents rely on their car for the school run.

Living Streets aims to provide solutions to the problems identified so that families are encouraged to walk more – helping children stay healthy and reducing the dirty air surrounding schools.

Joe Irvin, the charity’s chief executive, said: “Motor traffic is the biggest cause of air pollution and so encouraging people to walk their short everyday journeys, such as the walk to school, is a big part of the solution to this growing problem.

“Encouraging children to be active every day also helps them maintain a healthy weight and develop healthy habits for life, which will stave off chronic health conditions in the future.”

Living Streets has launched a ‘Rate Your Walk’ online tool to give families the chance to share their experiences of walking to school.

Mums and dads can also use social media to share pictures of their walk to school, either @livingstreets on Twitter and Instagram or by using the hashtag #iwalktoschool.

Mr Irvin added: “Walk to school initiatives, park-and-stride schemes and walking zones are all successful ways of reducing pollution and congestion, with the added benefits of helping children stay physically active.

“With the potential to improve air quality, reduce congestion and improve our children’s health, we need to enable and encourage more children to walk to school.”