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Walking bus helps pupils improve road safety skills

Published on 22 July 2010

Children attending Newport Infants School have increased their road safety knowledge and helped to reduce traffic congestion thanks to parents stepping in to organise a "walking bus".

This involves children being collected from various points in Newport en route to the school and accompanied by volunteer parents who act as “conductors” or “drivers” for the bus.

The success of the scheme in the few weeks it has been running since its launched during Stay Safe Week at the end of June means that it will carry on when the new school year starts in September.

School head teacher Rebecca Overthrow said: “The walking bus started when four of our parents volunteered during Stay Safe Week to help make it become a reality.

“We have seven children already taking part and we want more parents to volunteer so that more children can walk to school. Legally there is a strict ratio of parents to children so we need more parents to come forward to volunteer.

“The walking bus has meant the children have a more increased awareness of road safety, they have been able to make new friends from other classes because of the mix of children taking part in the walking bus and it has reduced congestion outside the school at peak times.”

The school liaised with Telford & Wrekin Council’s road safety team to ensure that the walking bus complied with safety requirements and that the children taking part understood what is expected of them.

Councillor Stephen Burrell, cabinet member for children and young people, said: “Walking buses are increasing in popularity all over the borough and more and more schools are taking part so it is good to see a school with pupils of infant age helping to lead the way.

“There are obvious health benefits for everyone taking part as well as the concept being kind to the environment.”

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