Walk like a…..zebra!

School children across Merton are joining Debra the Zebra in putting their best foot forward this week, as they participate in Walk to School Week 2003 from Monday 19 – Friday 23 May.

The campaign aims to encourage parents and pupils to walk to school as often as possible during the week and special stickers are being awarded to those children who walk at least part of the way to school.

Over forty of Merton’s primary schools, including both community and private/independent schools, are participating in the campaign. Schools have organised a range of activities throughout the week including special assemblies, travel surveys and literacy themes.

Road safety guru Debra the Zebra, who is already huge hit with children of all ages in the borough, has been signed up as the Walk to School Mascot for the first time. She will be touring schools in Merton with the Council’s School Travel Plan Co-ordinator over the next few weeks to promote the campaign and to educate pupils, school staff and parents on the benefits of walking.

Jenny Jones, Green Member of the London Assembly, will join Councillor Russell Makin, Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Planning, and Debra the Zebra at William Morris Primary School on Friday 23 May 2003 to welcome the school children as they walk to school. She said: “I hope the Walk to School campaign inspires many parents and children to walk either part or all of the way to school. I urge them to continue to walk to school after the dedicated week as a healthy and environmentally friendly alternative to the car.”

Councillor Russell Makin, Cabinet Member for Transport and Planning, said: “Walk to School Week is a great way of encouraging children and parents in the benefits of walking to school. I’m sure Debra the Zebra will help to spread the message to the borough’s school children in a fun and entertaining way.”

Debra, who has previously appeared at Car Free Day 2002 and the Wimbledon Winter Wonderland Parade last Christmas, is also acting as the Walk to School mascot for South West London. Merton is working in regional partnership with Kingston, Richmond and Hounslow to promote walking to school in a co-ordinated way.

If you would like more information on Walking to School week or Road Safety initiatives in Merton, contact Emma Sheridan the School Travel Plan Co-ordinator on 020 8545 3192.

Remember: You don’t have to walk every day or all the way – a little and often, can make a