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Walking buses

Image of walking bus at Fairview School A walking bus is a fun, healthy, safe and sustainable way of travelling to school. Powered by good, old-fashioned legwork, the children and volunteers walk in a group along a set route, picking up or dropping off 'passengers' at specific 'bus stops' on their journey to and from school. 

A walking bus can be easy to set up and must have a minimum of two adults per route (often staff or parents); an adult 'driver' at the front of the bus  and a 'conductor' at the back of the bus, ensuring that a ratio of one adult to every six children is met.

Younger children and babies transported in pushchairs or buggies may join the walking bus if accompanied by their parent or carer, however they will count towards the adult to child ratio. We also encourage parents and carers to become walking bus volunteers if allowing their children to actively participate.

Everyone on the walking bus is expected to wear a high-visibility tabard, now available in several colours. Adults involved are also police-checked and all routes approved by the council following a risk assessment.

School communities in Medway are finding that they can benefit from the positive effects that the walking bus has in enhancing road safety awareness skills among children, as well as health and environmental benefits.

Live too far away?

Even if you live too far away from school or you travel on to work, you can still do you bit to help to limit the congestion outside your school and 'park and stride'. This involves parking at one of the bus stops and then joining the walking bus along the way.

Live too close?

If you feel apprehensive about your child walking to school alone, the walking bus provides an ideal opportunity to walk to school with their friends while being supervised.

How it works

We will:

  • approve the routes by carrying out a risk assessment to determine their suitability
  • arrange road safety training for every walking bus volunteer in Medway
  • provide high visibility tabards (subject to funding) to anyone who walks on the walking bus which enables road users to see the walking bus in motion and allows everyone to recognise who is on the bus
  • issue operating guidelines to parents and volunteers, containing all of the necessary information about the walking bus (there is also a consent form for parents and children to sign)
  • provide employers’ liability and public liability insurance, which covers all registered volunteers, as long as the Medway Walking Bus operating guidelines are followed
  • support every walking bus initiative in Medway to help improve the route to school.

Sponsor your local walking bus

We would like to invite local organisations to become a sponsor for one or more of the Walking Bus Stops. The sponsorship will be for a particular walking bus or area and provide a good opportunity to support a worthwhile cause in your local neighbourhood - as well as raise the profile of your business.  Find out more about Walking Bus sponsors.

More information