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Walking Buses more popular than ever

Date: 29/04/2008           Category: Highways Traffic and Parking

Latest figures show an encouraging rise in the number of schoolchildren taking part in Walking Buses in Medway, which has more than doubled in the last three years, from 250 in 2005 to an impressive 609 now. They are not only helping to reduce congestion outside schools, but are also getting fit in the process - simply by walking to school. In the same period, the number of walking bus routes has also more than doubled, from 15 to 31. Portfolio Holder for Front Line Services, Cllr Phil Filmer, said: “It’s good news that walking buses are proving increasingly popular. Only too often the area outside schools is congested with parked cars, which causes poor visibility and potentially dangerous situations for children to deal with. “By simply leaving the car ten minutes away, both children and parents are helping to make their journey to school safer. It’s also a great way for children to socialise, giving them the chance to walk to school with their friends whilst being supervised by fully-trained adults.” A walking bus must have a minimum of two adults: one at the front of the ‘bus’ to ‘drive’ and another at the back to ‘conduct’, with a ratio of one adult to every six children. Powered by good old-fashioned legwork, the children and volunteers walk to school in a group along a set route, picking up or dropping off ‘passengers’ at specific ‘bus stops’ on their journey to and from school. All of the bus members wear high-visibility tabards to highlight them to other road users. Anyone interested in setting up a walking bus for their school can contact Andy Dickinson, Safer Journeys Officer, on 01634 331832 or email andy.dickinson@medway.gov.uk