Haydonleigh schoolchildren call for road safety with Go-20 banners
Around 100 children walked from North Swindon Centre to Haydonleigh Primary School on 13 June, with staff and parent helpers holding banners calling for safer roads as part of Giant Walking Bus that involved schools across Britain promoted by the charity Brake.
Brake and Churchill’s Giant Walking Bus is an annual event in primary schools across Britain where children learn about safety around traffic, pollution and transport choices.
Children held up banners for the benefit of drivers proclaiming ‘Go-20.’
Organiser Debbie Yockney said: “We were celebrating the benefits of walking and were also calling on drivers to slow down to 20mph or below when passing homes, schools and shops – to protect kids on foot and enable more to walk.
“The campaign also calls for more pedestrian and cycle safety measures such as widespread 20 limits and safe pavements, paths and crossings.”
Julie Townsend, Brake deputy chief executive, said: “Many parents are in a difficult situation when it comes to letting their children walk or cycle. We need to make it easier for them by making roads safer for children and people of all ages. By doing this we can help kids to be healthier and have the fun, active childhood they deserve.
"We’re appealing to drivers to listen to the thousands of kids who marched, and take the simple step of slowing down to 20 mph or less around homes, schools and shops.”
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Dozens of young people shared their ideas and successes in promoting safer and smarter journeys to their schools at a conference at Park South Community Hall, Swindon, on Thursday 20 June.
The students were all School Travel Ambassadors and part of the School Travel Ambassador scheme, run by Swindon Borough Council to encourage safe, healthy and sustainable travel to and from schools across the borough.
Nearly 40 schools, from infant to secondary including special schools, now take part in the scheme, which began in 2011.
Travel Ambassadors are aged between six and 15 and work in groups within their school communities to organise events, campaigns and competitions to promote safer and smarter journeys.
The conference gave them a chance to share their ideas with other schools, learn new skills to help them in their role, and celebrate what they have achieved so far.
The School Travel Ambassador role involves:
Being a point of liaison between the Road Safety/School Travel team and the school community
Promoting road safety and smarter travel messages within school – notice board, assemblies, website pages etc
Leading activities in school – travel surveys, campaigns such as Walk to School week, special events and competitions
Representing their school at wider events, such as school travel conferences
The conference was organised by officers from Swindon Borough Council’s highways team, and was opened by the Mayor of Swindon, Cllr Nick Martin.