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NOW CLOSED: It's Walking to School Week: talk to Kia about your DC walking to school – you could win a £150 voucher and a weekend loan of a Kia Carens

(141 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 17-May-13 12:07:43

You may know that week starting 20 May 2013 is Walk to School Week which promotes the benefits of walking to school.

In support of this campaign the car folks, Kia, have a scheme called the Walking Bus where they supply schools with all they need to encourage children to walk to school (for example by providing high viz bibs) and parents take on the role of a 'driver' and 'conductor' to escort children on a designated route to school.

Kia say "Did you know that over the past couple of decades, the number of children walking to school has fallen sharply. In 2011, 49% of primary school aged children and 38% of secondary school aged children walked to school, down from 62% of primary and 48% of secondary school aged children in 1991".

Kia would love to know what you think about this and the Walking Bus scheme and how you're going to get involved in Walk to School Week this year.

Please share on this thread....
~ If you normally walk to school: how you find this? What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages?
~ Are you able to try walking to school during the campaign week? If so please return to this thread and share your experiences!
~ If walking to school would be impossible for you, why is this and is there anything you can do to walk some of the way or to encourage other parents at your school to try the Kia Walking Bus?
~ Would you like to see this scheme introduced to your child's school? If so, do share the link with them and let us know what they say
~ If you already take part in a Walking Bus to school scheme please share your top tips or things to avoid. What works best?

Everyone who shares a tip, story or thought on this thread will be entered into a prize draw where one lucky MNer will win a £150 voucher for wallpaperdirect and a weekend loan of a Kia Carens*.

Thanks and good luck,
MNHQ

* ps car loan will be dependent on acceptance of Kias T&Cs which will be emailed to the winner

ouryve Fri 17-May-13 12:31:26

We always walk to school. It's sometimes hard work, as it's 1km each way and a steep hill. And the journey is affected by the weather. Uphill is hard work in the hot sun, or with the wind blowing in our faces. Heavy rain is even worse. We have waterproofs, but DS1 can't tolerate it on his face. He simply doesn't like weather.

And there's been a couple of times we've had to give up because the whole route has been one big sheet of black ice.

There's also been a few times when DS1 has refused to budge and I've had to call DH home from work. The last time he did that, DH parked the car at home made him walk with him, which put an end to that particular form of protest. It's still hairy sometimes if DS1 is a bit bouncy and impulsive - I have to give him instructions to remind him to wait at the many roads, etc, and not all drivers are pedestrian or child aware. We've had some very close shaves shock

I don't drive and we still have to do half of the walk if we catch the half hourly bus, so walking is a no choice thing, really.

There's been walking buses tried before in our village, and the kids who used it did respond well. I still have to take the boys, myself, anyhow, since they both have SN and need very close supervision (DS2 still wears a harness at 7) and I have to make sure they're safely handed over to their 1:1s at school.

Macdog Fri 17-May-13 12:41:20

I totally agree with ouryev as regards winter walking.
Our council grits/salts roads, but the pavements very rarely get treated. This makes it downright dangerous to walk to school over ice.
We have no option though, and have to make the decision to usually walk on road itself

Macdog Fri 17-May-13 12:42:27

Sorry ouryve

Tee2072 Fri 17-May-13 12:48:00

We don't own a car. We can't afford a car. I don't even have a license, although I do know how to drive, at least in the United States. grin

Our walk to school is 1.5 miles one way. So my son walks 3 miles a day and I walk 6. He is not quite 4 years old.

We love our walk. In all weather. In the rain we jump in puddles. In the cold we look for snow and ice. In the sun we sing our sun song and dance down the street. In the wind I hold his hand tight and hope he doesn't blow away. grin

Now that the weather is nicer I see a lot more people walking to all the schools in my area. It's lovely.

Blatherskite Fri 17-May-13 12:51:01

We could walk to school and have done a few times but it's a 25-30 minute walk when we're dragging 3yo little sister along with us and with the weather we've had this winter, it hasn't appealed much.

I'm hoping that once the sun comes out (it is going to come out right?) we can make the most of the sunshine and DS's bike parking permit (he's not allowed to park on the school grounds without one and I can't drag his bike and mine home alone) and bike to school on the mornings when DD isn't at pre school too.

On the days I have to drop them both off, I just wouldn't have time to bike everywhere and definitely not enough time to walk as I couldn't get between the 2 sites in time.

Things will get a lot easier in 16 months when DD is bigger and they're both at the same school.

I didn't realise it was Walk to School Week soon but I will try to walk if the weather is kind.

CheeryCherry Fri 17-May-13 12:54:50

Don't and didn't walk them to school as when I've dropped them off I go straight to work in the car. On the odd occasion when I finish early, I walk down with the dog.and we would walk back home.
Walking bus probably wouldn't work in our area as children travel quite a way to the school and there really isn't an area to park and meet such a bus.
Another school in the area is in the middle of an estate, their bus works well, the pupils love it!

Clayhead Fri 17-May-13 12:58:10

I always walk to school, no matter what the weather, it's non-negotiable!

It takes about 25 minutes.

We have recently moved and found it to be a great way of meeting people, we often divert to walk with other people and it has helped us get to know the area. I find my children, ds in particular, is better in the mornings once he's had the chance to burn off a bit of energy on the way to school.

We don't have a walking bus but I don't see why it wouldn't work here.

Hasitfallendownagain Fri 17-May-13 13:04:24

We walk. We only live about 100 metres away from the gate, so it wouldn't be worth going any other way anyway.

DD will be moving to a different site once she turns 7, it's slightly further (but still only about a 5 minute walk) in the opposite direction. Because I'll still be walking to the old site with younger DC, she wants to walk there on her own. I'd certainly be happier to let her go alone if there was a walking bus!

clux73 Fri 17-May-13 13:20:28

We walk to school every single day, rain or shine, as we do not have a car but even if we did I would still want to walk. It's a 15 minute walk, we bump into friends on the way, we talk about things, we play games like how many red cars can we spot. Its a great time to catch up with my girls. We live in London and our school does not have a Walking Bus but I think it would be a great idea and would be very successful. Everyone at the school lives within a 15 minute walk radius so in theory every pupil could use the Walking Bus.

Taffeta Fri 17-May-13 13:36:25

We live just over a mile away, uphill on way home. I start work at 9am so we rarely walk ATM. I try to walk on my days off at least to school, but am first to admit I'm a fair weather walker.

I park a fair distance from the school so there is some walking involved. My DC are very fit and one in particular is v sporty so I am not concerned they are sedentary.

We always walk when it snows as our road is lethal in a car. I hate it. The boots, the snow suits, the change of clothes, plus school bags, sports bags, music equipment. Donkeys.

ShatnersBassoon Fri 17-May-13 13:42:17

We always walk. We live just around the corner from the school, so there is no other option. I think even if we lived further away I'd walk, because I couldn't be doing with the faff of trying to park and then inevitably having to walk a fair distance anyway.

I would love to see a walking initiative set up for DC's school. I think it's a nice sociable thing to do, to bump into friends on the way and have a natter as you walk.

We always walk to school (1.5 miles each way). I combine it with walking the dog, so she gets 3 miles road walking before we head off for woods or fields.
There's no disadvantages. It's a bit miserable in very wet weather but we just wear waterproofs that DS can hang up at school.
It's a time to chat and we tend to see the same people every morning along the route, some of whom we now smile and wave to.

Now the weather is (mostly) getting better, I'll be walking to collect DS too. Again, a nice opportunity to chat about our day. When he was younger the walk home was a valuable 'decompression' time for him after being cooped up in school all day, as the merest hint of bad weather has them indoors in Wet Play hmm

I would love to have a Walking Bus at the school and have offered to volunteer for one in the past, although the idea wasn't taken up.

StainlessSteelCat Fri 17-May-13 13:59:42

~ If you normally walk to school: how you find this? What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages?
I like that I live close enough to the school to walk it, was main reasoning for wanting children to get into closest school. I like not having to use the car, saving money, and that we are all getting some exercise (I was going to say fresh air, but as we walk along a main road I'll skip that!).. It's good to bump into other people and chat, both for me and kids. It gets the children used to being active rather than assuming the car is essential. Taking the time to take in our surroundings, talking about what we see, counting house numbers, or talking about what happened during the school day on the way home. Also, there are plenty of other cars causing jams and congestion around the school, I like to stay out of it.
I don't like it in the rain - neither do the children. If the children are particularly tired it can be a long way along the last stretch .... and if it rains as well, everyone is miserable by the time we get home, Although that has been known to be a good excuse for hot chocolate - and we've earned it if we've walked it in the rain smile

~ Are you able to try walking to school during the campaign week? If so please return to this thread and share your experiences!
Will be anyway.

~ If walking to school would be impossible for you, why is this and is there anything you can do to walk some of the way or to encourage other parents at your school to try the Kia Walking Bus?
When I'm working I have to take the car as there just isn't enough time to get back home and then get to work. Or I need to take another child to nursery. So it's either walk or car, I can't really walk part the way.

~ Would you like to see this scheme introduced to your child's school? If so, do share the link with them and let us know what they say
~ If you already take part in a Walking Bus to school scheme please share your top tips or things to avoid. What works best?

firawla Fri 17-May-13 14:16:34

we walk everyday. i dont drive, so no choice. parking is not great near to the school anyway. ds does say to me i wish you could drive me, but as i cant - he has no choice

SacreBlue Fri 17-May-13 14:17:07

We didn't walk to school as kids as we lived in the country so school was too far away, we did have to walk to bus by grammar school tho. I don't think anything would have made it easier for us - perhaps biking it in the warmer weather?

My DS has walked to school (and nursery) always as we live close to his primary and only a couple of miles from his grammar. The closeness of schools is really the deciding factor for walking - by the time we would sit in traffic he would have walked it anyway! Also I have erratic work patterns so it's just not practical to be driving him.

The closeness of primary meant he was walking on his own by age 7, lots of his friends also walked so frequently he would have met them on the way and walked together. This was handy at home time as they would go in a group to the park and we parents would meet them all there.

I asked the police for a rape alarm for him to give me greater peace of mind even at this short distance of walking by himself.

Now he is at grammar he walks most often, takes his bike occasionally and from time to time I pick him up a little way past school if he has his HE cake or stew etc that he has made (and if it is bucketing)

Walking has increased his confidence, time-keeping and geographical knowledge of the area.

arcticwaffle Fri 17-May-13 14:28:31

Please share on this thread....
~ If you normally walk to school: how you find this? What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages?

Advantages. Environmentally friendly, don't need a car, all get fresh air and exercise. Time to chat to Dc. Meet neighbours. Stop to stroke a cat. Pop into shop.
DC can go to school alone when they get old enough, so you are not tied to chauffeuring older children.
Disadavantages. Hm. Can't think of any.

~ Would you like to see this scheme introduced to your child's school? If so, do share the link with them and let us know what they say

Our school has one which has worked well for a few years but now more parents are preferring to drive right up to the school (with problem parking and making it unsafe for the children walking) rather than use it.

~ If you already take part in a Walking Bus to school scheme please share your top tips or things to avoid. What works best?

We're not part of it as we live in the opposite direction but they have special breakfasts once a term, + stickers and reward systems for using it.

lljkk Fri 17-May-13 14:32:55

We virtually always walk or cycle; the biggest problems are stroppy uncooperative children (mine), dog mess sad, and sometimes people driving too fast or too close to the pavement.

If you already take part in a Walking Bus to school scheme please share your top tips or things to avoid. What works best?

DC school had an award-winning walking-incentive programme; 5-6 yrs ago it won loads of prizes and accolades and prize money, even. It's fallen in to disuse due to lack of volunteers and this is the big problem. Relying on and finding people who will volunteer to keep the reward scheme going.

CMOTDibbler Fri 17-May-13 14:35:24

We don't walk - its far too far away, and is a 15 minute drive on clear roads.

It wouldn't work for ds's school as it is not in a residential area, but I've seen walking buses in nearby villages

We walk to school and home again 99% of the time. It's only a 10 minute walk, so it's hardly taxing (although I do walk home again a slightly longer route to try to get some exercise!) It's environmentally friendly, we get some exercise and we can all have a chat.

The only time I don't is if it's really, really tipping it down and I think DS2 is going to scream his head off in the pram, as he hates the raincover.

It's quite a nice walk - though unfortunately a third of it is on a very, very busy main road with a narrow footpath. Big lorries hurtle down the road (despite it being 30mph) and I really hate it - particularly if DS1 is bringing a friend home, as it's difficult to get them both squashed safely against the wall! There is a crossing, but it doesn't have a lollipop person and sometimes people jump the lights too. I'd let DS1 do the walk by himself when he's older if it wasn't for the road. As it is, DS2 is 3 years younger than DS1 so I'll always be taking him anyway.

If you normally walk to school: how you find this? What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages?
Normally walk. Advantages are saving petrol and not having to find a safe parking space. Holding DS' hand (when he lets me!) and having a chat about random stuff!
Disadvantages are having to walk past the shop (nag nag) and other parents shocked faces at my DS' vocal tics and sudden running. And having to call said DS back again.

Are you able to try walking to school during the campaign week? If so please return to this thread and share your experiences!
Yes, do so already.

If walking to school would be impossible for you, why is this and is there anything you can do to walk some of the way or to encourage other parents at your school to try the Kia Walking Bus?
N/A

Would you like to see this scheme introduced to your child's school? If so, do share the link with them and let us know what they say
I think most people who can, do walk round here.

If you already take part in a Walking Bus to school scheme please share your top tips or things to avoid. What works best?
N/A

supergreenuk Fri 17-May-13 15:54:52

We walk unless I'm needing to drive on to another location after drop off.
The advantage is that we keep fit and get some fresh air. We also notice things we wouldn't in the car like the blossom or the dandelions turning into fluffy seeds. We also pass a stream and play poo sticks.
We do have a horrible hill though and the air is not quite so fresh. Loads of exhaust fumes and traffic.

MavisSnapdragon Fri 17-May-13 16:05:56

We always walk - out the front door, across the road and into school - 30 second commute! I need to join the gym now.....

chocolateshoes Fri 17-May-13 16:16:34

If you normally walk to school: how you find this? What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages?

We always walk to school as we live in the same village as the school and it is only 5 minutes. However it is a narrow lane with no pavements and I think a walking bus would be a great idea - if the kids all walked together & had hi vix vests then they would be much more notceable.

~ Are you able to try walking to school during the campaign week? If so please return to this thread and share your experiences!

yes - we will

~ If walking to school would be impossible for you, why is this and is there anything you can do to walk some of the way or to encourage other parents at your school to try the Kia Walking Bus?

Although a lots of the kids at the school live in the village it is surprising how many drive. My niece lives in Switzerland and her parents are pretty much forbidden from walking / driving with their kids. They are provided with hi-viz vests and learn to be independent from an early age. The walking bus idea would be slightly different would would be a good step in this direction.

~ Would you like to see this scheme introduced to your child's school? If so, do share the link with them and let us know what they say

yes it would be good

BornToFolk Fri 17-May-13 16:23:06

I don't drive and can't afford a car anyway so have little choice. Luckily, DS's school is a 5 minute walk away. It's on a housing estate so most children walk to school and I can't see a walking bus scheme really taking off!

However, I do think it's a great idea for schools where lots of children are driven. I walked to school every day and being useless at sport, it was pretty much the only exercise I got. I think regular walking is a great habit for children to get into.

FannyFifer Fri 17-May-13 16:32:20

We always walk to school as it takes less than a minute. grin

ScienceRocks Fri 17-May-13 16:38:24

We walk to school and nursery. It is only five minutes away, and means we can get there even when the roads are too icy for driving. It also means there aren't any worries about parking. I think walking buses are a great idea, but I can see how they would be difficult to keep going.

Bert2e Fri 17-May-13 17:08:00

We walk 0.6 miles each way each day and it's fine! We've always done it and the boys are used to it. Parents who will not walk make me very cross and the traffic around school is terrible because of them. I just walk home, pick up the car and then go to work

tallulah Fri 17-May-13 17:08:10

We've just started walking to school, although not when it's really tipping down. School is 20 mins walk away, then I have another 20 min walk on to work. To get my hours in I really don't have time for a gentle stroll.

Most of the children at the school come from an area on the other side of the dual carriageway (as is the school) so there wouldn't be enough for a walking bus from our way. I wouldn't join a walking bus scheme anyway because there is no way I could volunteer to be an escort - there just isn't time in the mornings.

MirandaWest Fri 17-May-13 17:22:00

We live about 3 minutes away from school so walk. But when I work in one location I am meant to be at work at the same time as breakfast club (next door to school) opens. So those days I drive there and drive on to work. Am doing a lot of that work next week so not sure if DC will walk at all next week blush.

BedHog Fri 17-May-13 18:09:27

We always walk. It's a bit hilly and the pavements are always covered in dog cronk but it gives us regular exercise (I feel unfit after school holidays as I miss the 50 or so minutes exercise each day!). It's about a 12 minute walk (at DS pace) but that works out quicker than getting DS and baby DD and the buggy into the car, parked, out of the car and into school. I wish more parents would walk as it's a bit of a bottleneck near the school gates and despite numerous pleas in the school newsletter and visits from the police and traffic wardens, a few selfish parents choose to drive and put others at risk.

I'd love a walking bus. I should imagine it would be a nightmare to run, with children running off, hiding in gardens, squabbling, stepping in poo etc. but in theory it's a good idea.

aristocat Fri 17-May-13 18:10:43

We also walk to school everyday. It is only about 10 minutes away.

The walking bus is a brilliant idea and it would work in my area because we do have lots of walkers.

The dog mess hmm is our main hazard! And icy pavements can be very dangerous. DS is yr 6 so he usually walks without me and DD.

We already do the school run on foot everyday as it is quicker than in the car, it gets us some fresh air and saves on petrol.

I am unsure if a walking school bus would work in our area, its a very busy industrial area, with a busy dual carriageway right outside the school. I know parents worry about their own child's safety and may not feel comfortable supervising others too and increasing their ratio of children to adult.
My son has special needs and needs constant supervision so I wouldn't feel comfortable with him using a walking bus, however we walk to school everyday anyway so it's not an issue.

ouryve Fri 17-May-13 18:49:26

Macdog - the times we gave up, the roads were just as bad and there were cars sliding around everywhere. It's been twice in 6 years.

meglet Fri 17-May-13 19:19:33

~ We walk to school and back approx 75% of the time. TBH I prefer it but if I have to run an errand before work, it's heavy rain or we're under the weather, late, stressed then I take the car. Disadvantages are carrying all our clutter (that's usually left up to me), whingy kids, dog mess, dawdling. Advantages are that it keeps us fit and saves using petrol.

They already have a walking bus at the DC's school. He does it approx once a month.

Nehru Fri 17-May-13 19:23:01

i dont walk my kids to school - get this, they go by themselves

Often the cat goes too and they look rather sweet tootling off with a feline escort.

The cat stays for the morning then comes home. He has been run over once, the kids are all still alive.

We always walk. It is a no choice thing to be honest, I don't drive. I don't mind it but then we walk alot anyway.

The biggest cons are drivers! It is an accident waiting to happen at our school. Most seem to drive (I have seen people driving from the next street, 3 minutes walk at the most). They double park and block pavements forcing buggies and children to walk in the road. I have had to drag ds out of the way of cars being driven along the pavement more than once sad

PiHigh Fri 17-May-13 19:45:54

If you normally walk to school: how you find this? What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages?
We always walk to school as it's just round the corner. It's nice to walk together and we chat on the way. The main disadvantage is having to cross the road with all the school traffic parked on/driving along and the dog poo on the pavements angry

Are you able to try walking to school during the campaign week? If so please return to this thread and share your experiences!
We always walk anyway

Would you like to see this scheme introduced to your child's school? If so, do share the link with them and let us know what they say
I'm not sure. I think most people walk if they can. The ones who don't tend to be trying to get to work or they live quite far away. I would perhaps like to see some system where people are encourage to park a few streets away and walk from there so as to alleviate the problems of parking and general busy roads right next to the school.

Tortoise Fri 17-May-13 19:53:56

We always walk to school. It's a mile each way. In bad weather it's not much fun but we survive! grin
I don't drive but I think even if I did I would only drive if it was really wet.
Walking bus wouldn't really work for us, part of the journey is not near any other school children so would still need to walk half of it. We are quite rural and live outside town.

lorisparkle Fri 17-May-13 20:31:51

If you normally walk to school: how you find this? What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages?

I walk to school whenever possible - advantages - exercise for all, good for environment, good for finances, less stressful than parking by school.

disadvantages - crossing the road near school, windy and wet weather

~ If walking to school would be impossible for you, why is this and is there anything you can do to walk some of the way or to encourage other parents at your school to try the Kia Walking Bus?

The only days we don't walk to school is if I am working and drop the children at breakfast club before school. It would be impossible to walk to school, walk home, collect car, drive to work, in time!

~ Would you like to see this scheme introduced to your child's school? If so, do share the link with them and let us know what they say

I think it would be great if the school had a walking bus and will mention it to them. The parking is appalling. The thing that would make a huge difference is if the road near school had a pedestrian crossing.

LadyLech Fri 17-May-13 21:15:08

We never walk, I always drive.

I live approx a mile from the school. it takes about 20 - 25 mins to get there. Children go to breakfast club at 8:10 am. I start work (13 miles away) at 9am. In the mornings, with rush hour traffic, it takes about 40 - 45 mins to get to work. As I teach being late is non negotiable. So, we have no option but to drive.

If I had to walk, I would have to leave at 7:35, get to school for 8:00, walk back to my house for 8:20 and then arrive at work between 9 and 5 past, and then get the sack for being late and leaving my classes without a teacher, and having nothing prepared for my first class of the day!

So, what would make me walk? well, winning the lottery so I could afford to give up work would help!!

sharond101 Fri 17-May-13 21:45:49

~ If you normally walk to school: how you find this? What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages?
My DS isn't yet old enough to go to school and we recently moved house which means it will be really difficult for us to walk given the distance 2.5miles) and how young he will be. I plan to walk to collect him though and take his bike or scooter so we can be car free on the way home.
~ Are you able to try walking to school during the campaign week? If so please return to this thread and share your experiences!
We tried walking the route to school with the pushchair and it was a success although narrow pavements made it difficult with the dog.
~ If walking to school would be impossible for you, why is this and is there anything you can do to walk some of the way or to encourage other parents at your school to try the Kia Walking Bus?
It's not impossible but I will encourage my neighbour who walks very little to join me in walking to collect my DS and her DS.
~ Would you like to see this scheme introduced to your child's school? If so, do share the link with them and let us know what they say.
I'd love to see more children walk to school so yes.
~ If you already take part in a Walking Bus to school scheme please share your top tips or things to avoid. What works best?
n/a

takeaway2 Fri 17-May-13 21:57:44

My dh walks the DS who's 5 and in reception, to school which is about just under a mile away. It's both down and uphill. Depending on what happens in the pick up, we either walk or drive him home. Alot of it has to do with his younger sister going to nursery which necessitates driving as it's further away. Therefore we drive.

I think when they both attend the same school, we will be driving less. I will still drive to work in bad weather but it's entirely possible for me to get to work which is another km or 2 away from the school on foot.

I don't walk to school very often. DH does a school/nursery run in the car on his way to work every morning. DS1 could walk to school (he walks home every day) but DH will actually pass the school on his way to nursery so he takes him anyway. The nursery is much too far to walk to. I usually work (FT) at home.

If you normally walk to school: how you find this? What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages?

As I said, I very rarely walk to school right now. I've done it about twice in the past year (both times to pick up DS1 and his friend who is visually impaired and has to be accompanied from school). I'd actually have taken the car if DH hadn't taken it to work (we only have one). The main disadvantage were that it was bloody freezing and windy, which made for an unpleasant walk. The weather is a big factor in how much fun walking to and from school is.

It's also really difficult to walk against the stream of children coming from the high school to get public transport home while walking home from the middle school. DS1 seems to manage it, but it's not fun. There are millions of them and not much pavement. I can't imagine how you'd do it with a buggy.

DS1 used to complain about it being very difficult to cross some busy roads (where no crossing or support was provided) when we lived in our old house. He was delighted when we moved house and he no longer had to do this.

I guess the advantage of walking would be that it's exercise, and possibly avoiding the school run parking nightmare. It's actually fine at DS1's school because they've got a drop off/pick up area and a car park you can use. And, as it's a middle school, lots of kids walk on their own. DS2 will be starting first school in September and this will be a big consideration. His school is down a narrow cul de sac with little parking, so I can imagine walking will be much less stressful.

Are you able to try walking to school during the campaign week? If so please return to this thread and share your experiences!

I have no plans to walk to school until September.

If walking to school would be impossible for you, why is this and is there anything you can do to walk some of the way or to encourage other parents at your school to try the Kia Walking Bus?

I can walk to school if I want to. I just don't have to because DS1 is old enough to walk on his own.

Would you like to see this scheme introduced to your child's school? If so, do share the link with them and let us know what they say

DS1's school has a couple of walking buses already, I think. Neither of them comes anywhere near our house though (because kids round our way usually go to different schools).

KristinaM Fri 17-May-13 23:04:47

My younger children cannot walk to school as there is no safe walking route.the is no pavement for all of the 1.5 miles and they would have to cross a busy dual carriageway

My older child walks part of the way to her school, about 1.5 miles and travels the rest by train. She likes the independence this gives her and enjoys walking with her friends

FannyBazaar Fri 17-May-13 23:35:18

We always walk to school for 2 reasons

1) we don't have a car

2) so many parents drive to school and I know of no other children who walk by themselves, I feel reluctant to send my child on is own, seems it isn't the done thing.

How do I find it? It brings me out in a rage, endless cars racing to get to school on time, no space in the school for all the children and parents/grandparents to pass through the gates without queuing. Roads not safe for children cycling due to the precious kids being taken by car. London school with catchment area of 1/2 mile radius of school, no idea why people are driving.

Walking bus, great idea, would love the whole taking turn thing, it would ease the congestion of every child turning up with parents. Plenty of kids walk our route already. It would allow me to get to work earlier when not 'driving the walking bus' thus finishing earlier, less time in childcare required = excellent idea.

I walk to school every day, I'm a childminder and look after too many children to fit in my car. It's a 15 minute walk, I enjoy seeing people and things around me and I also just enjoy walking. I think its good for children to get fresh air, exercise and learn some road sense. The disadvantages are the weather, particularly rain as its not nice for the kids to be wet all day and not all parents send appropriate clothing. It's got to be easier than loading kids into car trying to find somewhere to park, getting them all out and then getting some back in! Some of the children I mind don't walk other than with me so I have to be careful to make sure they are close and listening but they soon learn how to behave near the roads. I also totally agree about winter walking, councils worry about the roads but pavements are never treated and can be pretty treacherous!

I didn't realise it was walk to school week, which is a shame as its clearly not being publicised in my area.

The scheme wouldn't work for me as I can't see parents paying me to let someone else walk their children to school wink. I personally wouldn't let me ds go to school without me yet and he's 6. I want to see him in and get a chance to chat with his teacher if necessary.

DorisIsWaiting Sat 18-May-13 00:03:13

We don't walk to school as school is in the next village along an Aroad with no path (although that is being addressed).

If and when I do walk the children to school it is more likely to be home from school due to the distance and time issue.

I am not keen on the walking bus as I like being able to chat with the DC's teachers in the morning if I need to (subjects not worthy of a phone call) I also use the time in the playground to learn what else is happening in school.

nextphase Sat 18-May-13 07:02:21

Not at school yet, but we do drop off at nursery every day.
The morning timings mean I really don't have time to walk, and then get to work, but both kids are over the moon if I drop the car off at home, and then walk to pick them up. But everyone thinks I'm bonkers. I get "Oh dear Next, is your car broken"
There is a fundamental mental shift needed - and most of my walk is along paths away from any roads - this place is set up to walk, and WOH parents just don't seem to think about fitting it in.

ScienceRocks Sat 18-May-13 07:33:27

I think Doris makes a good point about missing contact with teachers if there is a walking bus. At my DD1's school, you have to book parents' evening appointments on one particular morning - this is already an issue for those parents who use the local breakfast club because they work and the same would apply for walking buses. Schools need to start doing this kind of thing online! Also I can see that walking buses might be difficult if children have to take a lot of stuff to school, such as musical instruments or big projects, or even just donations for mufti day.

Iwillorderthefood Sat 18-May-13 07:56:33

We nearly always walk to school. It is quicker to walk than drive to the school, we go by car when it is raining, since I want my children to enjoy walking to school and feel that an enforced walk in the rain will cause my children to become very negative about walking to school.

When we drive we have to leave earlier as it is very difficult to park and therefore the girls have to spend about 20 minutes in the car waiting before actually arriving in their classrooms.

It is due to the waiting around and leaving earlier that my children prefer to walk to school.

As one of my children is at nursery, I do this walk six times a day, (almost a mile ech time), and it amazes me how many parents think that I walk because I do not own a car. It is lovely of them to offer me lifts, but we are walking right now since I am not working, and do not have to rush off to my job. We are all keeping fit, and helping to cut congestion just a little bit and hopefully helping someone who absolutely needs to be in their car on the school run get there a little bit quicker.

We play counting the number of minis on the way to school, as well as spot the cat. The girls often use their scooters on the way to school. The walk to school provides the children an opportunity to talk about anything that has happened during the day, and it is a special time.

Walking to school each day teaches them road sense, and will hopefully ensure that once they a walking on their own, they will be able to conduct themselves in a safe and sensible manner to school.

We always walk as it is only about 1/4 mile and you have to leave earlier if you drive than if you walk to be able to park. I like the social aspect, chatting to other families and DD loves walking back with her friend who lives in the same direction. DS has been going on his own since he wss 8 (only have to cross one quiet cul de sac) and I am always a few minutes behind to check he got there OK, have a word with teacher if needed etc. I walk home jump in the car and can be on the road to work by 8.50, which is plenty early enough.

I wouldn't either volunteer for or use a walking bus, we don't need it.

MegBusset Sat 18-May-13 09:05:36

We always walk to and from school - we're only half a mile away and there's no parking allowed on roads near the school during school start and finish times (though plenty of parents ignore this!). Advantages: keeps us fit, and a chance to have a good chat. Disadvantage: icy pavements in winter, and dog poo all year round angry

A walking bus is a good idea, I've seen one near where we used to live. I think it's a big responsibility for the people running it though, and not sure you'd get enough volunteers round here.

DontMeanToBeRudeBut Sat 18-May-13 09:57:40

We moved DS to a nursery within walking distance just after Easter and I have to say, I'm really enjoying walking him there and back. It's about half a mile either way so completely do-able with him walking and DD in the sling.

The advantages:
• I've found I've got to know my area a bit better. I've used the local corner shop for the first time in 3.5 years and found a playground I didn't even know existed before;
• It's inspired me to do a bit more walking rather than hopping in the car every time I go somewhere. I now walk to DD's baby activities and actively choose things to do with the DC that are in our local area rather than a drive away;
• As a result of ^, my petrol costs have come down significantly. I used to fill up every 1.5-2 weeks, now it's every 2.5 weeks, saving me about £40 in this past month;;
• DS is getting more exercise and he enjoys walking (most of the time!), pointing out birds and insects; picking daisies and dandelions and collecting pine cones and snail shells;
• I've found out that DS is an amazing jumper! He started off jumping over water stop-tap covers, then paving slabs and now two paving slabs at a time. I have no other 3 year-olds to compare him to but I'm already scheming for the long jump in the 2028 Olympics grin; and
• I'm saved the stress of loading everyone into the car, sitting in a traffic jam, scrabbling for a parking space, unloading everyone... It's a lot less stressful to just put DD in the carrier and walk. If she falls asleep I don't need to wake her up either.

Disadvantages:
• We have got wet a few times! That wasn't so fun;
• Sometimes DS is really tired after nursery and wails and strops the whole way home, refusing to walk or going really slowly. That is wearing; and
• I do worry about DS being safe. We live on a busy main road and he doesn't want to hold my hand all the time, although he's generally very good.

I don't think a walking bus scheme would work in a nursery with lots of children coming from out of catchment but I'm pleased that the infant school we will be applying to for DS does offer a walking bus service.

edam Sat 18-May-13 10:30:05

We've always walked to school. Now I commute by train so can't take ds myself but another parent walks him up. Seems easy to me, I'm not sure there are any top tips for putting one foot in front of the other! It's a nice way to spend time with ds

edam Sat 18-May-13 10:39:52

Possibly because you are walking ie engaged on a task, not facing each other, I think kids tell you stuff, about their day or random thoughts, that you wouldn't get otherwise. When I went back to work I really missed this and whenever I get a day off, I really enjoy that insight into ds's world. And it's good exercise - when dh was at home and started driving I noticed ds put on weight! (I had words with dh and they started walking again.)

Also, it means ds bumps into his friends and plays and chats with them, and meets loads of dogs, so even though we don't have one, he's never been nervous.

Only top tip I can imagine is, on a wet day, wear a raincoat with a hood...

We always walk to school as we live very close to the school. The advantages are that we don't have to battle to find a parking spot, we often walk up with friends, it wakes us all up in the morning, and it's a good opportunity to chat after school about the day.
Disadvantages are carrying the art work produced each day!

Sounds like a good scheme but generally people who don't walk to school have very good reasons for this and are unlikely to change unless their own circumstances change.

Thingymajigs Sat 18-May-13 11:13:58

My son's school is 2 miles away and we've always walked. This was originally out of neccessity because I didn't drive and the bus service was inadequate and extortianate (£2.20 for a 3 minute journey that wasn't convenient time wise).
The advantages are that I don't have the stress of driving or the annoyance of finding a place to park. The school run also keeps us fit which means I don't have to worry about finding time to exercise.
The disadvantages are mostly weather related. We have been caught in horrendous downpours and also suffered in a heatwave without shade as well as a few close calls from skidding on ice. When my children were young they struggled with the walk which caused a few tantrums. I guess it takes up time too but as I've always walked to wherever I need to be I don't see this as an issue.
I would definitely be interested in a scheme like this. It would be very useful in situations where one of my children was unwell and the other still needed to get to school. We always see other parents who do the same walk as we do and I often wondered if we could set up a scheme like this.

elizaco Sat 18-May-13 12:05:28

We live a mile away from my daughter's primary school. The road is a narrow country lane, so I wouldn't be happy for her to walk by herself (she is 9). We walk to/from school maybe 2 or 3 times a week. I must admit the weather is the biggest decider as to whether we walk or go in the car - in summer months we definitely walk more often! I think it is great exercise and also a great chance to chat without any distractions. Once a month the school has a "Walk to School" day. Children (and parents) meet at the local village hall car-park at 8.15 and walk up to school (approx a mile). This has proved very popular, especially as those children who take part get breakfast at school!

Turnipvontrapp Sat 18-May-13 14:15:41

We either drive, walk or scoot to school. If I am working its drive unfortunately due to lack of time but I do love the walk and think its best for the kids too. It's about a 30 minute walk.

Succoria Sat 18-May-13 15:35:16

We moved house specifically so we could walk to school. It takes about ten minutes each way, and we all really enjoy it. The walk there is a good way to wake us all up in the morning, and the walk home gives us a nice opportunity to chat without distractions of homework, TV etc once we get home.

I don't really see that there are disadvantages, we live so close that if we were ever to drive, it would take just as long getting into the car, (with Ds2 in his car seat), driving up the hill, finding a parking space (almost impossible unless you park practically next to our house, or are prepared to leave 45 mins before school ends to get a space), then getting out of the car, walking to the school, then doing the whole thing in reverse. Walking is probably quicker, and certainly less stressful. Then you have the added benefits like exercise, positive impact on the environment etc.

RollingThunder Sat 18-May-13 16:01:23

I walk to school whenever possible. School is a mile away which is a lot for a reception child on the way home at the end of a long week and I have a younger child as well. Ds1 also needs a high level of supervision on roads. So I went out and bought a second hand bugaboo bee on eBay and a buggy board. It makes it all possible as I can have control over both kids if I need to and it's not a problem if they are tired.

Without that I honestly don't think we'd walk. With that I resent any day we have to drive due due to weather or going on somewhere else.

Even in the snow I felt safer walking than driving on the ice. But walking was very hard work as the pavements weren't gritted and its REALLY hard work pushing a buggy with two children on it through snow!!!

I wouldn't put ds1 in a walking bus as he gets too tired to walk all the way home at the end of a long week (hence the buggy board)

The level of supervision he needs means I can't really watch him and other children and nor could another mum! So I might as well just walk my two.

I find it brilliant though walking them to school, helps all of us stay fit and healthy and really reduces our stress levels! (Especially mine!!)

apatchylass Sat 18-May-13 19:05:08

~ If you normally walk to school: how you find this? What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages?

Love the walk to school these days, as school opened up a short cut through fields. Before we had to take the long way round, which when DC were in reception took up to 40 mins of dawdling. Now it's a peaceful ramble through fields all wet with dew. Great time to chat to DS and look at nature. Even now DC are older we stop to admire trees in blossom or spider's webs netted over hedges. In snow we take a sledge.

Only disadvantage is when DC had instruments, swimming stuff and other extras to bring in, all on the same day. Very rare though.

~ Are you able to try walking to school during the campaign week? If so please return to this thread and share your experiences!

Yes.

~ If walking to school would be impossible for you, why is this and is there anything you can do to walk some of the way or to encourage other parents at your school to try the Kia Walking Bus?

DS1 can't walk to school - he has to take the train as it's 10 miles away. But he walls to and from train station - about 5-10 mins each side of train journey.

~ Would you like to see this scheme introduced to your child's school? If so, do share the link with them and let us know what they say

Often discussed a walking bus but in our village a lot of mums either work from home or are SAHMs while DC are in reception, and sad as it sounds, we all wanted to walk our own children to school each day. Like the idea though.

~ If you already take part in a Walking Bus to school scheme please share your top tips or things to avoid. What works best?

mercibucket Sat 18-May-13 19:31:32

friends call on ds1 and they walk in together, so an informal walking bus
no way on earth i would volunteer for or use a walking bus. i dont trust other peoples kids not to run off, and am not relying on a strangers road sense either

changeforthebetter Sat 18-May-13 21:17:24

I get pretty fucked off with this tbh. I walk my kids to school on my non-working day. The rest of the week we drive because I am on my way to work, not going home to do a spot of dusting angry I am in enough of a rush as it is. Iam not making an unnecessary fucking journey, I am on my way to fucking work to support my kids by teaching other people's. seriously, I drive because I can't walk them to school and then walk back to pick up the car.

Maybe there are people who drive because they are lazy - they must be rich, given the price of petrol. I drive my kids to school because I actually need not to arrive late for my own job. Get off my back, please! wine

changeforthebetter Sat 18-May-13 21:18:56

Realises is unlikely to be entered for any draw with my rant.... meh!wine

Mandy21 Sat 18-May-13 21:19:38

We drive part of the way, walk part of the way. We live 1.5 miles away from school so this is a compromise for us. The children love the part we walk, saying hello to the lollipop man, waving to their friends. Uses up some of their early morning energy so better at settling down once school starts.

We'll be trying to walk all of the way in Walk to SChool week :-) We'd love the idea of a walking bus!!

vintagesocks Sat 18-May-13 22:19:04

the kids do walk to school - because we live so close to it, it would be crazy to do anything else.

Totally see changeforthebetter's point of view.

500internalerror Sat 18-May-13 23:03:45

We walk/scoot. It's quicker than the bus, cheaper than the bus, and we can leave the house later in the morning because we don't have to allow time for buses going past full! It takes us about 22 minutes. We do cave in & get the bus if the weather is really bad tho!

People who live closer than us drive, arrive early to get a parking spot, & then just drive home (ie no onwards journey to make driving necessary) confused

Ruprekt Sat 18-May-13 23:12:19

~ If you normally walk to school: how you find this? What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages?

We walk to school every day. This is mainly because I run the Walking Bus for our school. I am the Walking Bus Co-ordinator!! (twirls) Advantages are that we get a good walk before school and some fresh air and we have a chat with the children on the way to school.
Disadvantages are that if the weather is bad I am a frizzy mess for the rest of the day!

~ Are you able to try walking to school during the campaign week? If so please return to this thread and share your experiences!

We will be walking to school for Walk To School anyway.

~ If walking to school would be impossible for you, why is this and is there anything you can do to walk some of the way or to encourage other parents at your school to try the Kia Walking Bus?

NA

~ Would you like to see this scheme introduced to your child's school? If so, do share the link with them and let us know what they say

NA

~ If you already take part in a Walking Bus to school scheme please share your top tips or things to avoid. What works best?

I started the walking bus 3 years ago when we had to move cars away from the school due to building work. Since then we have set up another bus and we are currently the only successful walking bus in our town from a primary school. Everyone who helps on the bus is trained, the children wear high vis jackets and it works really well. The staff enjoy being on the bus and we make a big fuss of the children too. They have special badges and go up in assembly to advertise the bus.

We avoid brambles, nettles and dog poo and it works well!! grin

asuwere Sat 18-May-13 23:37:57

We walk to school everyday. DH usually has car at work but even if he doesn't, we'd all rather walk. It is much easier than trying to get through traffic and find somewhere to park - to be honest, it probably takes about the same time.

We do school drop off, then back to pick up DS2 from pre-school, then back to pick up DS1 from school so myself and DD1 (3) do the 0.75mile round-trip 3 times a day. It can be very tedious but it's nice to get the fresh air. We are lucky that there is only 1 road to cross and there is a lollipop man.

We do the walk in any weather and I think the kids love it best when it's raining/snowing etc as they get to wear puddlesuits and have great fun! (must find adult puddlesuit or at least pram raincover which covers pusher! wink )

When I was working (on maternity leave), I generally dropped the kids at school on my way to work so it was by car, this was just so I could get to work on time and I do know many parents at school do the same thing.

thebestpossibletaste Sun 19-May-13 00:03:50

My dd is 12 and in year 7 and it's about 2 miles walk to school for her and the bus ride expensive so we run her to school in the car as it's cheaper and more convenient. I would love her to walk to school but she would have to cross a busy (partly 60 mph) road twice as there's no pavement on our side which is the same side as the school. There is no crossing or lolly pop lady outside school. I think an organised accompanied group walk to school would be a great idea and would happily accompany them some of the time when work allows. However sadly none of them seem to walk.

MrsShrek3 Sun 19-May-13 05:13:20

DS1 is dropped off at school by car at 8am as it is on my way to work. He has ASD and limited road sense so no way am I allowing him to walk. When he was at primary in y6 he was allowed to go 10 mins earlier than us as we could watch him across the only road. DC2&3 are dropped off with grandparents and walk to school from there with them. As others say, if I didn't have to be in a school in another town by 8.30 to teach other people's children it would be a piece of cake...we could always walk to school and I could go home and eat toast (sigh)

Our Primary School has included the walk to school week in its travel plan hmm the catchment is small and walking is easy for those who don't work as nobody lives more than a mile and a half from the school gate. The biggest difficulty is all of us pesky working parents. tsk.
There is no walking bus and no plans are happening afaik. Maybe they should have put that in their travel plan too.

JulesJules Sun 19-May-13 16:04:20

If you normally walk to school: how you find this? What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages?

We always walk to school and back. We live about two thirds of a mile away, it takes about 10-15 minutes. It's fine except when the weather is bad - they don't seem to grit the pavements on the way to school so when we have a lot of snow it takes ages and we fall over a lot grin. I think the advantages are that it gives everyone a chance to wake up in the morning and it's a chance to chat, play games etc. Disadvantages are the weather as mentioned, also when the dds were little they found it tiring after school. Several busy roads to cross so I don't see the girls walking to school on their own for a year or two yet. We don't have a car so we don't have a choice about walking. The other disadvantage is that the dds sometimes have different things on after school which means going backwards and forwards several times.

~ Are you able to try walking to school during the campaign week? If so please return to this thread and share your experiences!
N/A
~ If walking to school would be impossible for you, why is this and is there anything you can do to walk some of the way or to encourage other parents at your school to try the Kia Walking Bus?
N/A

~ Would you like to see this scheme introduced to your child's school? If so, do share the link with them and let us know what they say
N/A
~ If you already take part in a Walking Bus to school scheme please share your top tips or things to avoid. What works best?
N/A

zzzexhaustedzzz Sun 19-May-13 17:00:02

It takes us around 10 minutes to walk to school. I have sometimes let my 8 and 9 year olds walk halfway together alone. I would have done this earlier but there is a main road and some smaller ones. I am confident that they are road-trained but still anxious as there are people who drive like lunatics on the main road. There is no way I would drive it! I know a couple of people this distance away who do!
We don't own a car. We all have bikes but that can be hair-raising.
I wish we had a car for weekends as I think we miss out on things we could drive to.

we walk to school every day. it was a big factor in choosing to move back here actually - i wanted a walking distance school for ds to go to both now (primary) and later when he goes to secondary school. i lived close to school as a child and always walked and had the option when i was older of going home at lunchtime for a bit of peace or inviting friends back for lunch. i want ds to have the same.

we live in a village and it stuns me the people who live locally yet try to drive as close to school as possible when the traffic and access is an absolute nightmare. i have heard parents saying they have to drive as because their children 'won't walk' - what?? i've also seen children whining and moaning at having to walk home on a rare occasion after school.

it's quite sociable walking - you tend to see the same parents every day and have a chat and you're children get to walk together.

i'm obviously lucky though that i live close to the school - though not really luck as that was one of the reasons i moved back here despite it not being the best place for me to be socially.

WyrdMother Sun 19-May-13 18:45:01

9 out of ten of our trips to and from school are walked. The advantages are that you get some fresh air and exercise which wakes us up and gets us going for the day, we get a chance to have a chat and we don't have to struggle with parking which is very limited near the school.

The downsides are dealing with the weather, (really not a big deal), lugging all the kits and musical instruments along with us (we share the load) and crossing one somewhat busy road on a blind bend (only one side of the road has footpaths).

Obviously we will be walking as normal during the campaign week.

I know some parents do not walk their children because of time constraints, having to go straight from school drop off to work or the distance to school as we are in a rural area.

I work at the school and know most of the parents, I can't think of any of the top of my head who drive when they could walk.

The walking bus could be useful for parents who need to get straight to work as they could take it in turns and leave for work as soon as their children were picked up. It would also encourage some independence from parents in a controlled way, few children walk to our primary school on their own because of the busy crossing.

We don't normally walk to nursery. The traffic can be so bad that the roads are impossible to cross so it's easier just to drive.

It's also no help that lollipop men and women are stationed AT zebra/pelican/traffic light crossings. If anything these are the places that they shouldn't be needed.

We would maybe walk home from school when there's no time constraints but to school is too stressful.

Walking bus is a great idea. Unfortunately we live quite far from the route that they currently cover. If I'm taking the car I may as well drop DD off as well.

If we lived closer walking wouldn't be a problem. But I have definite issues with poor use of traffic wardens/lollipop people.

gazzalw Mon 20-May-13 07:32:51

We are a car-free family so walking is part and parcel of our everyday lives....DW and the DCs have been doing the school run for nigh on ten years (and she still has a few years to go with DD!) so to say they are experienced is an understatement. I can however report that even DW is finding it a pain now...it's half an hour each way so you can see why she's rather fallen out of love with doing it.

The advantages are distraction-free time with the children, regular exercise which helps parents and children alike with building up bone density, enough time to 'come to' to face the day ahead and the opportunity to catch up with other parents and for the children to see school friends, who are not necessarily classmates, on a regular basis. Also walking is free (if the you discount the extra wear and tear on shoes!).

The disadvantages are mainly to do with the weather in this glorious country of ours hmm, that because we have quite a long walk there is little room for 'hiccoughs' en route which can be quite stressful when working to a tight deadline and that it can seem relentless particularly in the winter....

I think the idea of a walking bus is a good one but it is probably likely to work better in an area with only one primary school (in a village) or in a metropolitan sprawl where a school has a mini catchment area. DD's primary school has a vast catchment area so I'm not sure it would be practicable....

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 20-May-13 11:58:59

~ If you normally walk to school: how you find this? What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages? We walk one day a week on my day off. It's a lovely time to talk, but does take much longer and limits what I can do on my way home (cannot do the weekly shop for example)

~ Are you able to try walking to school during the campaign week? If so please return to this thread and share your experiences! We'll walk as much as normal, my work means that we cannot walk any more as I go straight from school to work and there's not enough time for me to walk home then get to work on time.

~ Would you like to see this scheme introduced to your child's school? If so, do share the link with them and let us know what they say
I don't think that there are enough children from any area in particular to make it worthwhile.

Reastie Mon 20-May-13 12:47:02

~ If you normally walk to school: how you find this? What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages?

DD is too young to go to school but I work in a school, I drive as it's too far to walk (6 miles away). When DD goes to school I will be driving her as it will be too far to walk her every day (3 - 4 miles involving country roads with no footpath and very fast cars). The benefits of walking to school would be the physical exercise/getting to see nature (if you walk past any!)/fresh air/time to talk about things/building good habits for the future. The negatives are if it's too far to walk to the school, if a child is unwell it would be difficult to walk them home from school if they weren't able to, it would be difficult in bad weather.

~ Are you able to try walking to school during the campaign week? If so please return to this thread and share your experiences!

Sorry, no - it's too far!

~ If walking to school would be impossible for you, why is this and is there anything you can do to walk some of the way or to encourage other parents at your school to try the Kia Walking Bus?

It's too far to where I work but I imagine when DD goes to school if there was a walking bus that DDs friends went on I would be willing to drive some of the way to get her to walk the rest if she wanted to. It would be a fun thing for her to do with her friends.

THERhubarb Mon 20-May-13 13:15:04

I walk ds to school on a regular basis. It's only a mile away but we face a few difficulties:

1) the first part of our journey is alongside a busy main road which is quite narrow and has a lot of heavy goods vehicles using it. It's also badly potholed and despite being a 40mph most cars go a lot faster.

2) there is a popular garden centre on this road which accounts for a huge percentage of the traffic. The entrance requires cars to drive across the pavement and many don't give way to pedestrians, don't look for pedestrians and often drive right across the pavement before stopping at the road to look for traffic, forcing us to either wait until they've gone or walk around them.

3) we then have to cross a very busy A road which is listed as a notorious accident blackspot. The road merges into 4 lanes at the lights so pedestrians have to cross 2 lanes then wait in the middle to cross over the next two. Many accidents happen with cars using the outside lane to overtake cars at high speeds and not making it, or collding with cars turning. We've witnessed at least 4 accidents here in the last 2 years and there has even been a pedestrian fatality. I've lost count of the number of cars which jump the light just as we are about to cross.

4) the road into the village is also very narrow with a narrow footpath just one side of the road, so narrow that only one person can walk along it safely. This footpath is also very damaged and uneven and usually covered in horse poo so we have to watch our step. Again the danger is from speeding cars travelling very close to the footpath so one false move from my son or me would see us in the road in front of these speeding cars. I have complained to the council for the past year but nothing has been done.

The trouble with organising a walking bus would be that I would hate to be responsible for the safety of a group of children. It's bad enough with my own son let alone someone else's child. If the route was safer then I'd be up for it as I know a few kids who live around here and who go to the same school but unless the council do something about the dangers, I wouldn't want to take the risk.

THERhubarb Mon 20-May-13 13:22:56

Oh I forgot - advantages. I can't say fresh air because there are too many cars around which are polluting the air. You can hardly walk alongside a busy main road and get any fresh air advantages.

It is good exercise however and it does give us a chance to chat as we walk so that's valuable quality time spent with my son. I also don't have to worry about parking as most schools now have a parking issue.

It can be nice in good weather to look at the flowers, plants and birds and you do get a real sense of the changing of the seasons; you notice so much more around you. In the spring we watch for snowdrops and examine the buds on the trees, in the summer we marvel at the huge variety of birds, butterflies, bees and flowers. In autumn we stop for conkers and collect brightly coloured leaves and even apples. In winter we see frost covered spiders webs, bright red berries and we stomp on frozen puddles.

Just a shame our route is primarily given over to cars instead of pedestrians.

NaturalBaby Mon 20-May-13 13:27:06

I love walking to school but struggle if we leave too late or have a lot to carry, or if the dc's are tired. My 3yr old gets very cold and struggles to manage the last part of the journey when the temperature drops. Our route floods when it rains a lot but we manage with a buggy. My dc's love riding their bike/scooter now the weather is warmer but would ask to go in the car most days in the winter.

This week we will be walking to school as much as possible as we normally do.

Walking to school will soon be impossible as we are due to move and there is a dual carriageway between the school and our new house.

There are very few families who live within walking distance to our school.

PostBellumBugsy Mon 20-May-13 13:32:38

If you normally walk to school: how you find this? What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages?
N/A
~ Are you able to try walking to school during the campaign week? If so please return to this thread and share your experiences!
N/A
~ If walking to school would be impossible for you, why is this and is there anything you can do to walk some of the way or to encourage other parents at your school to try the Kia Walking Bus?
I drop the DCs off on the way to work, which is 10 miles away. There is no way I could walk them to school & get to work on time. I like the idea of a walking bus & would be happy as class rep to circulate information about it & put posters up in the school.
~ Would you like to see this scheme introduced to your child's school?
I think it is a good idea and will share the link.
~ If you already take part in a Walking Bus to school scheme please share your top tips or things to avoid. What works best?
N/A

avelte Mon 20-May-13 13:42:43

i have four kids from 7 -23 years old, i always walked to school,since with my first kid,different school,different ares where i lived,all in London though...but is good for kids..they dont do much activity these days as computers took over all the fun..so we love our walking twice a day...

emily80 Mon 20-May-13 13:53:42

We always walk to school, I think it's really important to teach my children good habits, I think too many people these days jump in the car to go everywhere. We enjoy our walks - on the way there we call for a friend and walk down with them, and on the way home we look in the gardens and talk about the plants etc.

The roads around school get really congested and busy and it is difficult to park, so walking seems a lot less stressful. I also think it's safer for everyone, as it's dangerous for children to have a lot of traffic around as they're walking to school (especially when people park directly opposite the school and other places they're not meant to).

puddock Mon 20-May-13 14:13:00

We are 15 mins away and walk most of the time (unless school drop off is on the way to a further appointment or weather is foul). It takes no longer than driving and puts everyone in a better mood for the day.
I usually walk with my toddler DS2 in a sling on my back, while DS1 scoots. DS2 is allowed a go on the scooter on the way home again.

lisanorfolk Mon 20-May-13 14:48:33

Unfortunately we live in the country side and the nearest school (which my 5yr old attends) is over a mile away, I would love to walk to school with Tiana but as she has health issues this is just not possible for her, she was born with heart problems so tired very quickly.
My son also goes to the local high school and thats over 3 miles away so not an option for him either so he catches the bus to school .

flapjack35 Mon 20-May-13 14:53:34

I always make sure my 13 year old walks to school with friends, although his school is around the corner, you have to cross a busy road to get to it, which is a pain at peak times.

insanityscratching Mon 20-May-13 16:33:41

We don't walk because dd doesn't go to the local school so we drive. The school she goes to is in the process of setting up walking buses for those who live locally so I'll share the link with them.
I would have liked to walk her to school but as she has SEN getting the right school to meet her needs is more important than the means of getting there tbh.
On walk to school week we park a little further away so that she is still taking part and that's good enough for us and school.

EstoyAqui Mon 20-May-13 16:48:11

I love walking and would really like to be able to walk DD to school and DS to preschool. Where we live it is not going to happen for us anytime soon though. sad

* If you normally walk to school: how you find this? What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages? *
We do not walk to school. DD's school is about 4miles away and would involve traipsing over several fields and walking down a very steep lane road with no footpath. I am not prepared to do that with a buggy.

* Are you able to try walking to school during the campaign week? If so please return to this thread and share your experiences!*
We will not be able to try during campaign week. I do try to park away from the school and walk to the gate. I hate those parents who circle around waiting for a closer parking space.

If walking to school would be impossible for you, why is this and is there anything you can do to walk some of the way or to encourage other parents at your school to try the Kia Walking Bus?
See above. There is no safe provision for me to walk to school with DD.

Would you like to see this scheme introduced to your child's school? If so, do share the link with them and let us know what they say
DD's school is pretty clued up on walking to school. They promote it regularly and encourage, where possible, parents to take part.

WomblesOfCairngorm Mon 20-May-13 17:31:31

We walk (or more usually scooter or cycle) every day rain or shine. Initially it was a nightmare as there are no pavements, however after 2 terms it is much easier and cars are far more aware of us and giving us space. Cars also tend to slow down a bit now when they see us.

WomblesOfCairngorm Mon 20-May-13 17:37:07

My tip is:
If the road is quite narrow, to stop cars from trying to squeeze past we all cycle down the middle of the road so they don't squish up

WowOoo Mon 20-May-13 18:03:36

~ If you normally walk to school: how you find this? What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages?

In nice weather we walk part of the way, with Dh or myself depending on our work that week. It's a nice chance for a chat, it's good exercise and I think my son is fresher for school when he's walked and had a bit of fresh air.
The disadvantage is that the school is just too far to walk the whole way. Plus, with a three year old who'll get tired more quickly, it's too hard.
We've been trying to walk more since it's been warmer.
Rain doesn't bother me. We all have raincoats.

The walking bus sounds great. Our school is taking part in it, so I'll ask other mums what they think too and get back to the thread.

BlueberryHill Mon 20-May-13 18:20:55

~ If you normally walk to school: how you find this? What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages? We used to walk to school, it took about 20 mins. However when it was snowy I couldn't get the buggy up the black ice on the pavement or road. I was stuck until someone helped me. It is uphill all the way to school and I have 2 yo twins so I now cannot get the buggy up the hill anymore and they are too small to walk there and back. So we now drive to school.

~ If walking to school would be impossible for you, why is this and is there anything you can do to walk some of the way or to encourage other parents at your school to try the Kia Walking Bus? See above, I cannot physically get the twins to school at the moment. However when they are older, we will all walk together. Unfortunately we had a Walking bus scheme but it closed down due to lack of interest.

MerryMarigold Mon 20-May-13 19:46:36

We walk to school. The downside is the ridiculous amount of traffic around the school, including cars parked on corners, which makes visibility difficult, and cars reversing etc. There's 1 road which is a complete nightmare to cross in these conditions with 2 Nursery aged kids, and one Y2 child.

I think the difficulty with walking bus would be getting the younger children to their classroom. They really need someone to make sure they have got into their class which would be impossible if you had even 6 kids, all in different classes. I wouldn't feel comfortable being responsible for other people's children and the whether they were safely in school or not.

missorinoco Mon 20-May-13 19:57:39

We walk to school unless I am going on somewhere else requiring driving after drop off.

My tip is to add another ten minutes onto the time you actually need to leave the house. Then when you have to find the lost shoes/bag/abandon redressing the toddler and stuff him in the buggy you are still on schedule. This does mean on the rare occasion nothing goes wrong you will be early, but you can then allow the children to dawdle to their hearts contents, thus still arriving just on time.

FannyBazaar Mon 20-May-13 20:33:55

MerryMarigold surely the walking bus is just for taking the children to school, they go into the class by themselves don't they? I've never taken my DS into class and if dropped of by Breakfast Club he certainly isn't taken to class.

tourdefrance Mon 20-May-13 20:43:13

We walk to school everyday. It's just around the corner. No walking bus at our school but I like the idea for when dc are a bit older as we are likely to move further from the school and it would be good to have this option. We are always prepared for the weather and cleared the pavement in front of our house when we had snow earlier this year in the hope others would do the same.
Advantages - fresh air, exercise, changing seasons as others have mentioned, also feel part of the local community, chat with neighbours.
I work too but choose to use public transport and fixed my hours around that. I could do an extra few hours if I drove but would miss the exercise.
Reception was quite hard work due to tiredness after school. Y1 much better.

invicta Mon 20-May-13 21:07:23

Our school have a walking bus which we have won awards for. It runs every morning with between 10 and 25 pupils. We usually have three adults per bus.

The tips I'd have for a successful walking bus.
- parking at drop-off point
- good list of volunteer parents, including having reserves if regular walker is unable to make it
- making clear what time the bus leaves

Our school,is a village school with a wide catchment. Alot of people drive to the drop off point then the pupils walk the rest of the way.

ifindoubtnamechange Mon 20-May-13 21:50:08

If you normally walk to school: how you find this? What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages?
My DD hasn't started school but we plan to walk regularly when she does. The school is only a couple of streets away, so it makes sense. I would anticipae this being the lower stress option as driving for 30 seconds to spend 10 mins looking for a parking space doesn't appeal. Also more sociable to walk along with the other local kids. Only problem I envisage is the rain!

~ Would you like to see this scheme introduced to your child's school? If so, do share the link with them and let us know what they say
yes. I'll mention it if I bump into the Headteacher but as DD isn't enrolled yet don't think I could do this formally.
~ If you already take part in a Walking Bus to school scheme please share your top tips or things to avoid. What works best? From a friend... be on time!!

MerryMarigold Mon 20-May-13 21:59:58

Fanny, we are at an infant school. All kids are taken to class, whether it is be child minders, breakfast club (who get to go into class 'the back way') or parents. There is no lining up in the playground. Kids get taken in. If someone were to wander off at that time and decide to walk up to the shops by themselves (bear in mind they are 4-7), it would be the walking bus 'leader's' responsibility.

Risha Mon 20-May-13 22:48:00

~ If you normally walk to school: how you find this? What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages?
.........> Yes, we do normally walk/Bike to school. first thing first... we avoid the tension of traffic. a little exercise fresh air (might say less polluted). Get to meet friends and other kids. The little one enjoys the Buggy ride than the car ride. Time to have a nice chat as My concentration is on her and not on the driving. We get enough time to enjoy every beautiful thing on the road and also get cautious about the bad stuff as well. Disadvantages - Everyday had to convince my daughter with the benefits of walking so she stops complaining about " leg hurts, Why the school is this far... and ofcourse the weather complaints."

~ Are you able to try walking to school during the campaign week? If so please return to this thread and share your experiences!
.............> Definitely we will do. Not something new for us to implement, so we all should definitely be doing it. Would love to share about our achievements.

~ If walking to school would be impossible for you, why is this and is there anything you can do to walk some of the way or to encourage other parents at your school to try the Kia Walking Bus?
.............> N/A for us though. Whatever be the encouragements, the distance.. most of the times restrict the parents from walking.

~ Would you like to see this scheme introduced to your child's school? If so, do share the link with them and let us know what they say
.............>will do so.

~ If you already take part in a Walking Bus to school scheme please share your top tips or things to avoid. What works best?
....haven't seen in our school yet.

tootssweet Mon 20-May-13 22:50:34

My dc's go to a childminder before & after school but one of the (many) things that sold us about her was that she walks her charges to & from school. The vast majority of cm's in our area seem to drive everywhere which would mean 2 yo ds spending the majority of his day strapped in a car seat.
We do the 5 min walk to the cm in the morning & she walks to & from school. In the snow we used a sledge which the dc's loved. There can be a bit of grumpiness some mornings but I enjoy the time to have a chat & talk about the important & the inconsequential in dc's life.

Merry has a good point about the dropping off to classrooms. Ours is a primary school, all classrooms have their own outside doors and all children enter via those doors. In KS1 all children must be accompanied to their door by a responsible adult, there is no staff supervision in the grounds, no lining up. The teacher stands at the door for 10 minutes to let the children in, have a word with parents etc. It works really well. So, it is hard to see how a walking bus volunteer would manage to sort all the children out and deliver them to the right classrooms without changing a perfectly good system.

stephgr Tue 21-May-13 00:01:10

~ We only have a 10 minute walk which is fine although it feels much longer when it's raining or snowing. It has many advantages - a bit of exercise, we don't get stuck in traffic, we save money on petrol and we help save the environment. The main disadvantage is the weather.
~ We will be walking during campaign week
I think the waling bus is an excellent scheme because it encourages children and parents to move rather than sit in cars or buses plus it saves money

Bracketfungus Tue 21-May-13 00:41:06

I haven't read the whole thread, so hope I'm not just repeating others. I almost always walk unless the weather is horrific or I need the car after dropping them off.

Advantages... Slight fitness advantage for me. Can't really say it makes too much difference. 1 mile walk is not that much exercise for an adult really. Take public transport from school to work, or walk home if not at work. So either 2 or 4 mile walk for me. Good chance for kids to get fully awake in the morning.

Disadvantages... 20 minute walk means we are sometimes late. The very quickest we have done it in is 12 minutes, so there is not much potential for making up time if you set off late unless we all run the whole way.. However the traffic at he roundabout is so bad that there would be no advantage in taking the car.

What could be done to encourage parents to walk.... Workplaces could offer flexi-time so that parents can allow time for walking to school and then walking/ getting public transport to work where possible. If I am doing a job which I need the car to get to, I will drive the car to school.

I will be walking with the dc this week anyhow, but glad to hear about the 'walk to school week'. Wish I had heard about it from school.

No walking bus here, and loads of issues with poor parent parking outside school.

CouthyMow Tue 21-May-13 01:19:07

I just deleted my response, as it was rather impolite.

I'll try again.

Walk to school week doesn't take into account those who live rurally where there aren't always safe walking routes.

Walk to school week doesn't take into account those who have been placed at schools as far away as they can be without qualifying for free transport.

Walk to school week doesn't bear in mind those DC's that have parents with physical disabilities that are unable to walk their DC's to school.

And last, but by no means least, Walk to school week doesn't bear in mind those DC's who have physical disabilities and are unable to walk to school.

I can understand the sentiment behind it, but when my DS2 ends up in tears every year because he never gets a sticker or a certificate just because he HAS to catch the bus because of both his disabilities, my own disabilities, and the distance the school is away from our house, I understandably hate the fucking idea...

About as polite as I can be about this...

Snog Tue 21-May-13 06:41:27

We walk over a mile and I feel happy that there is at least some exercise in our day.
Road crossings have been upgraded near us and this is a key part of how happy I am to let my child walk on her own in our busy city.

HotheadPaisan Tue 21-May-13 07:00:43

We walk, it's a few minutes up the road. If the DC didn't get into their local schools we couldn't though.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Tue 21-May-13 07:41:17

Walking will be great when they are older. At the moment we cant walk through the gorgeous wood to school because it is majorly hilly and I cant take dc3 (1) in his buggy that way. The road way is along two fairly main roads. However, there are at least 7 children who drive from our road. Maybe if we were in a train with high viz stuff, it would be safer. May liok in to this. walking is so much healthier and less stressful. The truth is we have to get to school a good half hour early just to park otherwise therr are no pavements - nit good with a 5, 3 and 1 year old. Kia, you need to promote all this much more. I dodnt kbow about your link with it.

WouldBeHarrietVane Tue 21-May-13 07:51:47

My dc are under 4 at the moment but the walking bus sounds great! smile

Oodsigma Tue 21-May-13 08:23:43

We always walked as its much quicker except when I had SPD & couldn't even walk from the nearest parking place to school.
School uses 3 teachers every evening to police parking and has tried to get the street made one way ( but failed).
After school club has a walking bus but no one else does.
Dd2 goes to secondary this time so we've a term off from school run before dd3 starts nursery.

Weegiemum Tue 21-May-13 08:33:38

I went to school about half a mile (primary) and a mile (secondary) way, I walked every day.

My dcs school is about 7 miles (we chose a state school with specialist language provision) and they bus to school. Oldest, in secondary, walks 1/3 MIE to bus stop and gets 2 buses. Younger two walk similar distance but get school bus, no changes.

Clearly, for us (and most families at the school), walking isn't an option.

telsa Tue 21-May-13 11:01:13

We cycle to school and sometimes walk back. It is two miles and we just do not get up early enough to walk there. Walking home is fun though. We take our time, do window shopping (we pass through the centre of town. Sometimes stop off in the playgrounds).

It would be hard to walk to school as my children are 4 and 7. The 7 year old walks well, but the 4 year old sometimes protests and stands stock still. It takes a lot of coaxing to walk a long way. Unfortunately we live much further away from the school than other parents. I have wondered about a walking bus that we could join at a certain point though and hope in later years to get this going.

I will share the link.

BirdintheWings Tue 21-May-13 11:16:59

Disadvantages? Child who plays tuba...

bluecarrot Tue 21-May-13 12:04:42

I loved walking DD to school but now she takes herself and meets friends on way down. When she was little (2-3years) we made up stories about jungle adventures - manhole covers were snake pits, telegraph poles were giraffe legs etc. and had to avoid by jumping over or creeping past or whatever. She could walk miles like that and enjoyed it ( later did that game with mindees) as she got older we practiced her spellings and tables on the way and chatted about what she was excited about doing that day.

Sadly kids who live next door get a lift to school despite it being 10 mins walk away ( and parents come straight home after) and its such a bad example to set.

I think walk to school scheme is a bit pants for families who have to drive due to distance or other drop-offs after that one etc.

ToomuchIsBackOnBootcamp Tue 21-May-13 12:27:03

We walk to and from school, no choice as can only afford one car which DH uses to commute to work. It is a 15-20 minute walk across the village, with one busy road and the rest residential.

Advantages : getting some exercise, wakes me, Ds and the dog up in the morning and helps ds work off some energy on the way home, we can pop to park or corner shop, we chat about stuff, we meet other people and their dogs sometimes, Ds learns road/traffic awareness as a pedestrian, we don't have the stress of fighting for a parking space. Ds knows that car is for longer trips only. Benefits the environment too I guess, one less journey for pollution/fuel.

Disadvantages: not that much fun in bad weather or if the pavements are icy. But we get on with it, with clothing and boots. We live in NE scotland, if we waited for perfect weather, we would never go out!

I think a walking bus would help a lot, for the kids to get some exercise. There are quite a few mums around me who do take their cars for the same journey that we walk and happily admit is because they are lazy and just don't want to walk. I can see them being very happy to let someone else walk their kids!

PurpleThing Tue 21-May-13 12:27:17

Local primary is 2 hours walk away, not exactly feasible.

Ds will get school bus that picks several children up from around here. I don't know how it could work to get him picked up part way along the route, would be too open to error I think. The weather is very unpredictable here and some days you actually cannot walk, even in summer.

cocoplops Tue 21-May-13 12:41:37

We drive to school - it's 1.5 miles each way and I have to get back to work as soon as I've dropped off (same with pick up). I also think its a but far for my two (4 and 7) - although I know other children do and they would get used to it, and benefit from the exercise too. It's quite a narrow pavement too and the younger one can be especially vacant around roads! Probably if they did it more that would improve though.

We do try and do something to work to school during this week (usually the promise of a sticker and the peer pressure). I've done the 1.5mile with the eldest and parked a bit further away to make it more of a walk.

Walking bus sounds good and I know other parents who do walk from near us. But I don't think I'd be comfortable with my youngest going without me. Plus one of the reasons I do the job I do is so I can do drop off and pick ups and be there for them.

When they're a bit older and in good weather I might encourage them to walk on the days I don't work.

Theimpossiblegirl Tue 21-May-13 18:50:13

Walking to school would be impossible for my children and the majority of the children that attend their school as we are in a rural area. Most of the children live in villages and farms in a large area served by several small first schools and a larger middle school, where children either get the bus or are driven to school. The lack of pavements make it unsafe even for the children who live near enough to walk.

The walking bus does sound a good idea for urban areas, just wouldn't work around here.

Jinty64 Wed 22-May-13 19:31:20

We walk to and from school each day as it is only a short walk. The furthest houses in our school catchment are less than a 10 minute walk and yet many children are dropped by car. I understand if the parents are going on to work but many are not.

We live in a very safe area and lots of the children walk or cycle to school without an adult. I will probably let ds3 (6) in another year.

I don't think we would get the volunteers for a walking bus but it is a good idea.

PolyesterBride Thu 23-May-13 10:36:07

We don't walk because we live over 2 miles away and I have to drive to work afterwards. The only thing that could have allowed us to walk would have been to stop faith schools discriminating against atheists so my daughter could have gone to one of the schools within walking distance! Sorry, probably a bit off topic...

iwantavuvezela Thu 23-May-13 10:54:07

Please share on this thread....
~ If you normally walk to school: how you find this? What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages?

We only live 5 minutes from school so walk every day. The advantages are that we feel part of the community. As we walk we bump into children on there way to school, chance for parent to meet each other, and children walk to school together. The ability to be able to walk to school is a huge bonus for us, no stress of driving, finding parking, and it feels like a lovely way to start the school day. On the way home it gives my daughter and I a chance to talk about her day.

~ Are you able to try walking to school during the campaign week? If so please return to this thread and share your experiences!

We would be walking anyway.

~ If walking to school would be impossible for you, why is this and is there anything you can do to walk some of the way or to encourage other parents at your school to try the Kia Walking Bus?

Most of the children at our school walk, it is a local community school - so not sure there would be the need for a walking bus.

~ Would you like to see this scheme introduced to your child's school? If so, do share the link with them and let us know what they say

I could sound it out with some parents, but see above answer

~ If you already take part in a Walking Bus to school scheme please share your top tips or things to avoid. What works best?

NorkyButNice Thu 23-May-13 13:25:36

We always walk to school as we live 10 minutes away but I'm amazed by the number of people who drive and then battle to park, ending up walking a good 5 minutes anyway.

School keep sending emails suggesting that more children walk to school - the exercise definitely gets DS going in the morning.

We have one walking bus, also a cycling team and scooter parks - all encourages the kids to keep moving however long the journey is.

BeCool Thu 23-May-13 13:46:45

We walk to school - it is very close to us and takes 5 minutes. I think most families walk to our school, but the radius for entry to the school is approx 350 meters.

I just love love love being able to walk to school - DD walks, hops, skips & jumps her way there

OddSockMonster Thu 23-May-13 14:42:59

We live about 8 min walk from school so always walk / scoot, whatever the weather.

School joined up with a big local (city wide) campaign around walking to school earlier year as parking is a bit dangerous in places (including by a bloody great 4x4 Kia mounting the pavement angry), and it had a brilliant take up.

I'll mention the school bus thing as that might be quite popular - especially with the large number of working parents dropping off by car in the mornings.

Kneedeepindaisies Thu 23-May-13 20:58:36

I walk to DS2's school as its 5 minutes down the road. It makes no sense for us to drive. The weather is never an issue; if it rains we have weeklies, coats and brollies. smile

Most of the children who attend his school walk as it is on a housing estate, however I think a walking bus would be handy, especially as quite a few of the children who walk to school alone are late.

DS1 goes to a different school and he walks with a group of friends. I would have been happier to let him walk earlier if there had been a walking bus. The pupils from his school are spread over a larger area so I'm not sure how this would work practically.

TheBreastmilksOnMe Thu 23-May-13 21:02:50

If you normally walk to school: how you find this? What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages?

We walk the 1 mile to my son's school when we're not running late! We all enjoy it and feel more awake. No disadvantages.

~ Are you able to try walking to school during the campaign week? If so please return to this thread and share your experiences!

Unfortunatly not this week as work for me is busy and I need to drive to save time.

~ If walking to school would be impossible for you, why is this and is there anything you can do to walk some of the way or to encourage other parents at your school to try the Kia Walking Bus?

~ Would you like to see this scheme introduced to your child's school? If so, do share the link with them and let us know what they say

Yes I would and I will.

~ If you already take part in a Walking Bus to school scheme please share your top tips or things to avoid. What works best?

Fuckwittery Thu 23-May-13 22:19:37

~ If you normally walk to school: how you find this? What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages?
We walk about 50 per cent of the time and I am trying to up it. I like the exercise for both girls morning and to burn off energy after school. DD1 enjoys riding her bike. Its great not having to find a parking space
Downsides, I find it hard to get both girls out the house by the walking time leaving point when I know we could have an extra 20 minutes if we drove. DD1 struggles to go to sleep on time in the week and is v tired and slow in the morning, tonight I put her down at 7.30 but she wasn't asleep until after 9.30 so it will be tempting to let her sleep in for another 20 minutes.

~ Are you able to try walking to school during the campaign week? If so please return to this thread and share your experiences!
We've walked every day except monday so far this week. Afternoon pick ups can be tricky without car because of sleep times but I've tried getting dd2 to sleep in the buggy instead this week and its not been too bad.

~ If walking to school would be impossible for you, why is this and is there anything you can do to walk some of the way or to encourage other parents at your school to try the Kia Walking Bus?
It used to be impossible as I had to drop one at school and one at the childminders on the other side of town and then do an hours train commute, now a sahm and can easily walk, just working on getting dd1 to wake up earlier (go to bed earlier) and us all out on time. Not sure how it will be this winter if we have another v snowy one as I will have dc3 newborn and dd2 (3) on a scooter or buggy board which wont work with lots of snow and ice.
I dont think walking bus would work in our town as parents live all over town and come from different directions and some from too far to walk to the one catholic school

~ Would you like to see this scheme introduced to your child's school? If so, do share the link with them and let us know what they say
i'd love it, but only know one other parent who walks the same way as us - lots of different directions to walk in! We do take turns to walk the kids though so I suppose thats our own little walking bus

lorka Thu 23-May-13 23:51:31

We don't walk to school as unfortunately too far away and over busy roads with no crossings. I would love to let the children walk when they are a bit older and the walking bus sounds like a great idea. smile

notcitrus Fri 24-May-13 10:18:34

We walk 1km to nursery, ds is 4 so walks well now, and dd in in the pushchair. When he starts school it'll be a mile, dropping dd off en route, then coming back to the station. But in London there's no point trying to drive - we have fun overtaking cars as it is.

Hopefully ds will master scooting which will speed us up a bit.

I'd like to know how much the average distance to school has increased over the years, what with 'choice', and small schools closing. I know some people will be driving to ds's school and to my nearest school, passing each other - because the nearest discriminates against non-Christians so few local kids get in.

~ If you normally walk to school: how you find this? What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages?

Yes. Fine for my dd. School is about 7mins walk away. I haven't a clue what the advantages or disadvantages are as I have always done it as a child and a parent. It's just something I do.

~ Are you able to try walking to school during the campaign week? If so please return to this thread and share your experiences!

I will be walking as usual.

~ If walking to school would be impossible for you, why is this and is there anything you can do to walk some of the way or to encourage other parents at your school to try the Kia Walking Bus?

DS attends a special school however and whilst we do walk some of the way, we also had to take 2 buses and a train until transport was offered in the form of a taxi.

~ Would you like to see this scheme introduced to your child's school? If so, do share the link with them and let us know what they say

Yes. Though dd is in nursery and will in reception in another school so I don't yet know whether they have something like this.

~ If you already take part in a Walking Bus to school scheme please share your top tips or things to avoid. What works best?

n/a

cantbloodywellchoose Fri 24-May-13 14:28:31

My son didn't get into any of our 3 chosen schools (all within 1 mile) and will be going to a school 1.8 miles away. I am really sad that its just too far to walk the school run esp with a 2.5yo and what will be a newborn baby. Being forced to drive the school run each day makes me sad. Not even suitably safe bike route either. Gutted.

dotcomlovenest Fri 24-May-13 16:49:14

I don't drive so we walk.
In the snow and ice it is impossible to get a buggy along the pavements so the children don't go in.
Then you get grief from the school.
I am considering learning to drive as it would be simpler and we do not have to leave as early.

Hopezibah Fri 24-May-13 21:37:11

~ If you normally walk to school: how you find this? What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages?

My son has moved from school to school in the past and we have different experiences based on each school. One place there was a walking bus and there was lots of support from the school and really initiated by the school and it worked well.

It probably didn't cover a big enough area to be truly useful as many had to drive to the first meeting point but at least it kept traffic a bit further away from the school.

The big advantages for me are to help children learn road safety, it is a social experience of meeting others en route to school, and it teaches them about health and being kinder to the environment too.

disadvantages are if there is lack of support from school or parents for it to run regularly. Also if it is not running promptly on time then it doesn't work well.

~ Are you able to try walking to school during the campaign week? If so please return to this thread and share your experiences!

We tend to increase amount of walking elsewhere during walk to school week instead as that is just as important in teaching children the same lessons.

~ If walking to school would be impossible for you, why is this and is there anything you can do to walk some of the way or to encourage other parents at your school to try the Kia Walking Bus?

At one school it was impossible as it was too far and too rural (ie no pavements and fast roads ). I also have flare ups of my arthritis which would make it impossible on occasions to join in.

Hence we encourage the children at other times to walk and it doesn't have to be only to school.

zipzap Fri 24-May-13 23:25:03

~ Are you able to try walking to school during the campaign week? If so please return to this thread and share your experiences!
~ If walking to school would be impossible for you, why is this and is there anything you can do to walk some of the way or to encourage other parents at your school to try the Kia Walking Bus?
~ Would you like to see this scheme introduced to your child's school? If so, do share the link with them and let us know what they say

We have to drive the dc to school as they both go to different schools, they are over 2 miles apart and there's only 20 minutes between starting times so it's physically not possible to get between them in that time. Plus it's at least 2 miles to get to the one school and then another 2 miles to get home from the other, the youngest (5) is the one that starts the latest and he just physically up to walking that far twice a day, let alone being able to do it within the right time frame.

We do tend to park a little further away than the parking immediately outside the schools - just a couple of minutes walk but enough to avoid the parking hell and congestion that is created at peak drop off times.

I know the junior school ds1 goes to has a walking bus scheme for kids that go to the linked infant schools which is very successful - unfortunately ds2 isn't at one of these so we can't make use of them.

I did know it was walk to school week - ds1 came home with a leaflet and this morning went into school early to go to the park to meet the mascot of the local football club and then everybody walked with him to the school, along with the school's lollipop lady. The lollipop lady is very highly thought of in school - she's been there a while, knows everybody and everything, is always smiling and even has her own page on the school website.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 29-May-13 13:25:32

Hello - thanks for all the comments. Am pleased to say zipzap has been selected as the winner of the wallpaperdirect.co.uk voucher and the weekend loan of a Kia Carens. I will pm you!

zipzap Wed 29-May-13 22:54:04

Woohoo! grin

Thank you so much MN and Kia grin

gringringrin

very excited here grin (you might have guessed!)

Will pm you Ann with the requisite info gringrin

Grrrr, only thing I have won from MN is a cuddly toy and a dildo!

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