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Does anyone have any experience of walking buses?

(11 Posts)
batgirl Sun 04-Jul-04 14:04:29

Hi - my children's school is taking part in the Safer routes to School iniative and a lot of parents have expressed interest in a walking bus. A group of us are beginning to consider how to set one up - I wondered if any one here had any experience of them that you might be able to pass on? Thanks!

codswallop Sun 04-Jul-04 14:06:14

yes we were thinking the same but it seems ot nme it would take s o much organsisation it was easier just to take htem youreslf!

have you a travel plan adviser formt he Council?

batgirl Sun 04-Jul-04 14:13:36

We have thought a little about it in the past, but, as you say, the organisation involved would be huge. However, I do want to try to gve it a go - I am trying to find out if there are any schools in our LEA running one.

Thanks for the suggestion of the travel plan advisor - I will contact him (though, I got the impression at the meeting he ran, that he was primarily involved with road re-designing!) - could be a good start.

clary Sun 04-Jul-04 14:58:18

My DS1's infant school has a school travel forum which is quite active, batgirl. Might be worth you starting one with like-minded parents? They have got a lot done to do with reducing congestion around the school etc. And next week they are runnign walking buses (I think it's walk to school week) every day on a trial basis, various routes. I have offered to be a parent on one for one day, will report back. Certainly would suit us next yr when we have to drop DS1 and DD in 2 very different places both at 9am!

batgirl Sun 04-Jul-04 15:21:07

Oooh, thank you Clary - I would love to know how that goes - sounds a good idea to try out different routes. I'll look forward to your report

Are your DS & DD going to be at different schools? It's such a pain if they don't stagger start times, most of our local schools/pre-schools etc do, but inevitably they can't cover every possible combination.

clary Sun 04-Jul-04 15:37:40

batgirl, yes, will report back when we have done it. DS1 goes to local infant school, we walk there, but DD will be going to fab council run nursery which is a 10-min (at least) drive in theother direction! No council pre-schools in our area (long story I won't go into). Because it's a *proper* nursery school it runs 9-11.30, lunch 11.30-1, pm 1-3.30. But anyway, they are relaxed about 9am start time and we can actually drop DS1 off at 10 to 9 (if he'll let us!) so we should get there. Just the idea of the walking bus going past the end of our road is fab!

cocococo Tue 06-Jul-04 00:36:41

A school round the corner from us has a walking bus that's been running successfuly for a year or so. It has parents wearing flourescent tabards and it's great seeing the walking bus snake along the road. This is on our council website - I'm sure this guy would be happy to help explain how it works:

"Parents interested in volunteering to organise a walking bus for their child’s school can find out more about how the scheme works by contacting Andrew Fulton on 01895 250 950.
HTH

clary Sun 11-Jul-04 11:56:08

just an update, DS1 went on the walking bus yesterday. DH said they looked so sweet in their fluorescent tops. Was a big success, 19 children on our route alone, and that's on the 1st day. Will post again with how it actually went when I have done it myself (at end of the week).

batgirl Mon 12-Jul-04 17:39:59

Thankyou cocococo - I will give him a call.

Clary - very pleased to hear that your week seems to be going well, I will be very interested in how you get on as a helper. Is it intended to become a permanent thing if the week is success?

clary Fri 16-Jul-04 03:55:15

Batgirl, yes, the idea is to launch th ebuses in Sept if enough people commit. It went well on Fri, we walked to the start point so as to be a helper in fluorescent jacket, adn basically walked along the road, stopping to pick up waiting passengers. I guess it was slower than just walking just me and the children, but good for them to walk with others and v useful if you wanted to drop off your child and then off to nursery/work. Think that would work best on a quid pro quo basis ie drop child one day, help the bus the next. By the end of the route there must have been 15 children and 25+ people in total on the bus, one of four routes running all week to our school (about 250 pupils) so if they were all that good that's about a quarter of the pupils on a walking bus which is fantastic. Hopefully this will continue to work.

batgirl Fri 16-Jul-04 10:38:13

It sounds lovely Clary, I hope it is a great success when it starts for real in Sept.

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