A survey carried of local authorities across Scotland has shown that fewer Borders school pupils are walking to school.
Over 13,000 pupils in primary and secondary schools in the region replied to the Hands Up Scotland Survey, which looks at how young people across the country travel to school.
The survey showed that in the Borders only 44.4% of pupils are walking to school, down nearly 6% from 5 years ago. While the percentage of those cycling is up slightly, the number of those being driven to school is also increasing.
Local MSP John Lamont said: “It is disappointing to see that fewer pupils in the Borders are walking to school. While I appreciate that walking is not an option for many youngsters due to the distance between home and their school, it is important that those who are within walking distance do so.
“Not only is it healthier to do so, but it can also help to reduce the carbon footprint of households across the Borders. It is important that we teach our children the importance of a healthy lifestyle at a young age, and encouraging them to walk more is an easy way to do this.
“While it is encouraging to see that the number of those cycling to school is increasing, more people are also being driven in by their parents.
John Lamont added: “With national statistics suggesting that obesity is becoming more and more prevalent in Scotland, we must do all we can to tackle it. The Scottish Government need to ensure that they are doing all they can to teach families about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, and to encourage them to walk or cycle to school.”