SCOTTISH politicians will come together to discuss the benefits of walking in what is Holyrood’s first ever debate on the activity.
Coming six months after COP26, MSPs are paving the way for a healthier future by coming together to discuss how walking can improve public health and strengthen communities across the country.
The cross-party debate will take place on May 4th [Wednesday] – coinciding with the start of National Walking Month. Minister for Public Health, Women’s Health and Sport and SNP MSP Maree Todd will be opening the debate with Patrick Harvie of the Scottish Green Party and Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights closing the discussion.
National walking charity, Paths for All, will lead on creating an updated National Walking Strategy with the Scottish Government later this year and has welcomed the news of the parliamentary debate.
Kevin Lafferty, Chief Executive Officer of Paths for All said: “This is a milestone moment for the country.
“It’s encouraging to see walking high on the agenda for politicians and with this type of political recognition, great progress can be made.
“Walking can impact and influence so many aspects of Scottish life. The environment, economy and health of the nation can continue to improve by proactively encouraging walking.
Promotion of walking is a preventative approach which can reduce instance of disease and health problems of the population, in turn decreasing demand on our health services.
With previous topics like active travel being discussed in parliament, this marks the first debate exclusively devoted to walking at the Scottish Parliament.
Scotland has been a pioneer surrounding the topic of walking and was one of the first countries to create a National Walking Strategy in 2014.
Kevin added: “It’s brilliant to see walking’s validation grow in the eyes of our policy makers. And we hope the topics discussed today will highlight the positive strides Scotland has taken in making walking more accessible for all, as well as identifying areas in which we can improve.
“We, at Paths for All, are looking forward to assisting the government in making walking as easy and as accessible as possible – in turn creating a healthier, greener Scotland.”
Founded as a Scottish charity in 1996, Paths for All continues to offer a list of initiatives to get people in Scotland walking more.
Paths for All’s focus is clear: it wants to get Scotland walking: everyone, every day, everywhere, and it works with the Scottish Government and 30 partners to support and deliver national policies, such as the National Walking Strategy and other ‘active travel’ initiatives.
For more information on Paths for All, visit: https://www.pathsforall.org.uk
To find out more about the debate, visit: https://www.parliament.scot/chamber-and-committees/whats-on-and-watch-live/whats-on?dateFrom=2022-05-04#wm
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