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26th May 2010 BRIDSTOW CHILDREN NEED A SAFE ROUTE ........................
.............................................
FOR THE THE WALKING BUS.........
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Along with other walking related activities, Bridstow School decided to attempt a 'Walking Bus' from Pool Mill across a public footpath to Bridstow Church and from there along the road to school on Thursday to mark national Walk to School Week.

This Walking Bus route has been investigated in the past as a possible regular way for children to get to the school but, as the road does not have any stepping off points, should traffic come along, it was felt that this would only be a safe option if some form of footpath were put in place for the final leg of the journey from the Church to the school. In addition there is no speed limit on this road despite the fact that it runs directly past a school. The road itself is narrow and has a sharp bend.

Several parents do regularly walk to the school but they are frustrated by the lack of safe access. Many more parents would also walk, or drop their children to join a 'Walking Bus' to alleviate the issues of parking outside the school which can cause congestion, especially at pick up time, should a suitable route be set-up. As things stand people are getting in their cars to drive a two minute journey. A walking bus would work on the basis that a rota of volunteers would meet at Pool Mill in the morning so that parents could drop their children, who would then be escorted on the walk to school. The reverse would then happen at the end of the school day. All parents whose children participated in the walking bus would take their turn at escorting the children.

Headteacher of Bridstow Primary, Mr Paul Sockett, and several volunteer parents took the opportunity of "Walk to School" week to arrange a trial walking bus and look at the possible benefits and issues around pursuing this option. Members of the Parish Council and local councillor Jenny Hyde accepted an invitation to join the walk and were very supportive. Jesse Norman MP, although unable to attend due to parliamentary commitments also sent both an email and telephone message of support.

More than 20 parents, children and supporters met at 8.30am, donned yellow reflective jackets and were blessed with beautiful sunshine to enjoy the walk to school. It caused such a stir amongst the community that the Police rang the school to clarify reports of a protest group making it's way to the school! The children thoroughly enjoyed the walk and everyone would be keen to make this a regular occurrence but in order for this to be possible a safe access route of some sort, from the church to the school, needs to be put in place.


The Walking Bus meets up at Pool Mill.

The final part of the route to school takes the children along a road with....

.....no speed limit and no kerb.
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