New walking bus gets safety vests

Published: 28 June 2019

Children who join a school’s new walking bus will be able to be safe and be seen after receiving bespoke high-vis vests.

Slough Borough Council’s sustainable transport team Better By provided the florescent yellow vests to St Mary’s Church of England Primary School in a bid to encourage more children, and more schools, to get on board.

The vests have the school’s emblem on the front, their name and the Better By logo on the back for children who are dropped off by parents at a designated location before being escorted the five minute journey to the school.

Rachel Cross, headteacher of the Yew Tree Road school, said action was being taken to reduce congestion around the school gate at the beginning of the school day making journeys active, sustainable and safer. The children were also encouraged to view walking to school as a positive choice.

Mrs Cross said: “We have two teachers who meet children at Hatfield car park and make the five minute walk to school with the children.

“It is not rushed and the children are encouraged to talk to one another which helps with their language and communication skills.”

Shazia Aamir (corr), the healthy schools team leader at the school, said the children will now be very visible on their route to school where they get to talk about their day ahead, what they did at home the night before and all before they get to the school’s gates.

She said: “They get to class ready to learn and parents don’t have to worry about trying to find a parking space, as there aren’t any around the school. It also means that they can build some activity into their morning which means they arrive at school alert and ready for a day’s learning”

Year 5 pupil Daniel, 10, said he parked and strides to school and said: “I like walking because I get fit just by getting to school.”

Year 2 pupil Sasha, 7, who walks to school with her mum said she loved the bright vests.

Cllr Rob Anderson, cabinet member of transport and environmental services said: “It is great to see schools giving alternatives to parents for their children to get to the gates safely.

“The council’s Better By team are here at the council to talk to schools about how they can help with alternative ways to get children to and from school sustainably.”

Email Betterby@slough.gov.uk to contact the team for more advice.