Susan van de Ven

Liberal Democrat County Councillor for Bassingbourn, Melbourn, Meldreth and Whaddon Learn more

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A Walking Bus to School?

by Susan van de Ven on 21 November, 2019

Walking Bus to School?

Recently I was contacted by Alix Valentine and School Crossing Patrol Officer Sarah Dixon about the idea of starting up a walking bus to Bassingbourn Primary School – something that will always be in the realm of possibility when so many parents already walk with their children to school every day. So long as there’s no magic bullet for peak-time traffic chaos, the more walking rather than driving the better, as it helps even a little bit to reduce the number of cars on the road.

Equally important, from a public health angle the County Council as our Public Health Authority is always seeking to impart the message that good daily physical activity is vitally important, especially for young children but of course for everyone else, too. For that reason, the walk to school is something that is always specially promoted!

Today Alix was in the playground handing out information about how a Walking Bus works, and a survey to find out who might be interested in being a “Conductor” or a “Passenger.’ If you’re interested in learning more, please let me know and I’ll put you in touch with Alix.

Alix’s Information Sheet: What’s a Walking Bus?

A walking bus is a volunteer-led solution to the traffic issues plaguing our village at school times recently.

The basic idea of a walking bus is that children are dropped off at a designated stop in the village where they are met by our parent volunteers or ”Conductors.”

The children will then be walked to school using a pre-approved safe route.

Each ”Conductor” will have a maximum of four children in their ”Carriage”’ and with the help of older children or ”Inspectors” will walk the children in a safe and sensible fashion all the way to school.

A register will be taken before departure and will be again completed when the bus reaches its destination.

How does a walking bus benefit you and your children?
• Parents going to work straight from the school run will benefit from an earlier drop off and will miss traffic on the way back out of the village
• It is a free service
• Recent studies in Luton have shown that children who walk to school emit lower Co2 levels than those who travel by car
• 9 out of 10 children who walk to school have shown better concentration at school than those who didn’t
• Walking for 10 minutes per day has proven to reduce the risk of illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease by 40%
• Children can gain a sense of responsibility by using the walking bus service
• Less traffic causing less pollution at the school entrance every morning
• Better attendance as there is less chance of being late
• Teaching children about road safety and safer routes to school

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