PARENTS of children at schools in Ilkley are being urged to think more about the environmental costs of the ‘school run’ at the start of the new school year.

Friday, September 10, the first Friday of the new term, has been designated ‘Walk to School Day’ and children across the town are being encouraged to get to school by walking, cycling, scootering or other ‘active’ means, instead of automatically jumping into the car.

For those who live too far away, parents are being asked to support the spirit of the day by using public transport, if available, or by ‘walking the last mile’, if the car really is the only option. It is hoped that new and better school transport habits might develop as a result of the initiative.

Helen Steward, of Climate Action Ilkley said: "The physical and mental health benefits of exercise are well known, with studies also showing that walking to school improves concentration and helps pupils arrive ready to learn.

"When parents accompany their children, there are opportunities for important conversations between parents and children to take place. Making the journey on foot, by bike or using public transport means fewer vehicles on the road, benefitting the wider community with less traffic and cleaner air – as well as reduced carbon emissions.

"Climate Action Ilkley will be logging the miles walked (or cycled) and carbon saved by schools across our district. Which school will save the most carbon per pupil? "

More information about the day can be found at

A Car-Free Festival is also being planned for Sunday, September 19 when the Grove will be closed for a range of family-friendly activities.