Mid and East Antrim’s first Walking Bus launched

Const Sydney Henry, PSNI Road Safety, who gave a talk on cycling safety at Fourtowns PS, Ahoghill, with pupils Jack and Skye and principal Mrs Parker.
Const Sydney Henry, PSNI Road Safety, who gave a talk on cycling safety at Fourtowns PS, Ahoghill, with pupils Jack and Skye and principal Mrs Parker.

Mid and East Antrim Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) has launched the borough’s first Walking Bus initiative.

The concept is a new, safe, healthy and environmentally friendly approach to walking large groups of children to and from school.

The Mayor, Cllr Paul Reid, said: “For children who do not want, or who are not ready, to walk to school unaccompanied, there are a number of alternatives. The Walking Bus scheme enables children to walk to school in safe, supervised groups. Each walking bus has an adult ‘driver’ at the front and an adult ‘conductor’ at the rear.

“The children walk to school in a group along a set route picking up additional ‘passengers’ at specific ‘bus stops’ along the way. The bus runs in all weather conditions and everyone wears a reflective jacket supplied by MEA PCSP.”

The scheme, which was launched at Fourtowns Primary School in Ahoghill, will be delivered across the borough in the coming months, in partnership with PSNI Road Policing officers, who will deliver a road safety awareness talk to the children before supplying them with their reflective vest. Benefits of the scheme include:

Good for children - a walking bus is a safe way for children to walk to school, allowing them to have regular daily exercise and reinforcing the habit of walking for shorter journeys;

Good for the environment with less congestion and traffic, which means less pollution;

Good for you - an opportunity to have social contact with other parents, physical exercise and the feeling of well-being knowing that you’re doing something worthwhile.