Monday sees the start of Hertfordshire's Walk To School Week and the county council aims to encourage as many people as possible to leave their cars at home.

More than 150 primary schools in the county have signed up to the scheme and council officers hope it will inspire many car drivers to use their feet.

Walking to school or leaving the car a 15-minute walk away helps parents to get fit and their children to feel healthier and fresher for lessons.

It will also ease parking congestion, a common problem outside schools.

TravelWise co-ordinator Lilian Goldberg said: "Even if children walk part of the way it helps them and their parents get fit.

"Children need the exercise and it's a great way for parents to lose a few pounds for the summer holidays.

"Once they try it, parents and children come back to us and say how they really enjoy the walk in the morning. The children can look at the trees and flowers, talk to their friends and learn to be safe on the roads at the same time."

Hertfordshire led the way by launching the first Walk To School Week in 1994. The initiative has subsequently spread nationwide and more than half the primary schools in the country will be taking part in next week's event.

[Uploaded onto the Watford Observer website on May 18, 2001]

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