A school bus with legs???

Foot power will drive the latest buses in Merton as two new after school Walking Buses are launched on Friday 13 December to travel from Morden Primary School and Abbotsbury Primary School to the After School Club at Merton Adult College.

A Walking Bus is where volunteers escort groups of children to or from school. Each bus has at least two escorts, who act as the driver and the conductor, and a maximum of eight children per escort. Thameslink, who are working in partnership with the Council on Walking Bus initiatives, sponsors both the new buses.

The driver, conductor and all the passengers wear high visibility vests to make the bus as conspicuous as possible. All Walking Buses are risk assessed and all volunteers are police checked to ensure the safety of the children.

The two new Walking Buses will be leaving Morden Primary School and Abbotsbury Primary School and going to the after school club at Merton Adult College. They are the first Walking Buses in Merton to run after school and give children the opportunity to be transported safely from school to the supervised After School Club at Merton College. This is ideal for parents who have to work past the school hours.

Walking buses:
– provide an alternative to using a car for the school journey, so reducing congestion and pollution outside the school gates.
– They give children an opportunity to experience life as a pedestrian
– They provide an opportunity for children from different year groups to mix socially
– Parents do not have to undertake the ‘school run’ every day

There are several other Walking Buses that are successfully running in the borough in the mornings. Each bus walks a set route to a set timetable collecting children either from home or from a specified location along the route.

Councillor Russell Makin, Cabinet Member for Transport and Planning, said: “Walking Buses are a fantastic idea as they help to educate children in the benefits of walking to school, instead of travelling by car, in a safe and road conscious manner. I am delighted that the scheme has been extended to an after school bus service as it will encourage and enable more children to participate in the After School Club.”

Dilys Coy, Headteacher of Abbotsbury Primary School, said: “Abbotsbury School has a strong interest in environmental issues as part of our Healthy Schools and Eco-Schools programmes. We are delighted to have the Walking Bus running from the school’.

If you would like more information on Walking buses or Road Safety init