With the new school year in full swing, Buckinghamshire Council is stepping up efforts to encourage more sustainable modes of travel.
The council’s Healthy Travel Team is asking children and parents to think about the way they travel to and from school, reminding them about safety as well the benefits of cycling, walking and scooting.
The team has produced a series of banners (pictured) which primary and secondary schools can display on perimeter fences and other suitable locations.
A spokesperson for Buckinghamshire Council said: “Lockdown helped to show us all the benefits of getting out and walking or cycling by keeping us fit and aiding our mental health.
“We are encouraging everyone to think about walking, cycling, scooting, parking further away from school and walking instead of driving the rest of the way to school.
“Catching the bus is also a great way to get to school and can be quite sociable. Often there is an element of active travel to get to and from bus stops.”
Meanwhile, the council is also promoting two campaigns which aim to highlight the importance of the county’s school crossing patrollers (SCPs) and safe parking.
The ‘Stop Means Stop’ campaign reminds drivers of their legal obligations to stop for SCPs. It highlights that failure to do so can lead to a hefty fine, penalty points or even disqualification from driving.
Steve Broadbent, Buckinghamshire Council’s cabinet member for transport, said: “Our SCPs perform an important link to encourage children and their parents to walk to school by providing a safe route for them to cross the road and therefore enable families to make more sustainable travel choices.
“Buckinghamshire’s 60 SCPs are out in all weathers, twice a day, cheerfully helping school children as well as adults across roads to and from their local schools.
“However, sadly, patrollers are experiencing rising cases of abuse and threatening behaviour from a minority of drivers who are potentially putting lives at risk.”
‘Parents Parking Promise’ is an initiative designed for schools that have problems with parents parking inconsiderately.
The campaign encourages parents or guardians to sign a ‘promise’ to drive and park carefully and considerately around the school (if they need to bring a car to school).
In return, they are given a ‘Parents Parking Promise’ car sticker to display in their car window. The sticker acts as a reminder to themselves and others that they have promised to be a considerate driver.
For more information about any of these initiatives contact Georgina Longley, school crossing patrol and sustainable travel supervisor at Buckinghamshire Council, via email.