All aboard the fantastic four

KM Walk to School mascot Sam plus supporters celebrate Walderslade Primary’s walking buses.

Walking bus

Walderslade Primary celebrated Walk to School Week by throwing a relaunch party for the school’s popular walking buses.

Streetwise pupils currently benefit from four walking bus routes – named Squirrel, Badger, Hedgehog, and Owl – with around 30 children using them on a regular basis.

Joining the celebrations was original coordinator, Linda White, who ran the Medway school’s first walking bus more than 10 years ago plus representatives from organisations supporting green travel.

James Sutton from Medway Council’s safer journeys team congratulated the children for adopting green travel and presented bronze level road safety certificates.

Participating youngsters were rewarded with walking bus certificates, pens, and child-entry vouchers for Leeds Castle, all presented by Emily Geeson from Countrystyle Recycling and Isabelle Lambert from Volker Highways.

Jane Harvey, the school’s coordinator and librarian, said the walking buses reduce traffic and pollution around the school and ensure “children arrive enthusiastic, happy and ready to learn.”

“Parents are happy knowing their children are arriving at school safely, getting regular exercise, and that they are not spending so much money on petrol and struggling to park outside school,” she said.

“They also get more chance to chat with the children, teaching some road safety skills and talking about the world around them.”

Cllr Phil Filmer, Medway Council’s portfolio holder for frontline services, said: “We were very pleased to be able to support the walking bus launch. It’s a great way to get children to be more active on the school run and to reduce the amount of cars on Medway’s roads.”

Walking buses are part of the KM Walk to School campaign, which is run by educational charity the KM Charity Team and has succeeded in removing more than 19,000 school-run car journeys from Medway roads since January.

Organisations supporting the campaign include the Kent, Maidstone, Ashford and Bexley councils along with Ashford International Hotel, Eurostar, Three R’s Teacher Recruitment, Whitefriars, Golding Vision, Orbit South, Specsavers, Leeds Castle, Rotary, Historic Dockyard Chatham, London Array, EduKit, and Whites Transport.

Schools can find out more or register for green travel projects including walking bus and Active Wow (Walk on Wednesday) at www.KmWalkToSchool.co.uk

Or contact Deb Goodger at dgoodger@thekmgroup.co.uk or on 0844 264 0291.

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