Councillors from a number of London boroughs experienced a session on the ‘Independent Travel Training Bus’ at the launch of a three-year programme of road safety training for elected members, developed by the London Road Safety Council (LRSC).
The LRSC training programme is designed to increase councillors’ knowledge and expertise, in turn enabling them to become effective road safety champions in their borough.
The programme comprises an induction leaflet for new elected members, a members’ forum on the new LRSC website and online training modules which are currently under development.
In addition, LRSC is rolling out a three-year programme of visits to enable members to experience examples of road safety best practice from across London, which they may choose to use in their own local programmes.
The new training was launched at the LRSC’s 2016 AGM on 22 July with a session on the Independent Travel Training Bus.
The bus session was organised by road safety teams from the Royal Borough of Greenwich and London Borough of Southwark, together with officers from Greenwich and Southwark’s safer travel teams, TfL’s travel mentors and the bus operator Arriva.
The bus sessions are designed to overcome an over-reliance on home to school transport among some pupils and their parents which, over time, can lead to young people and adults not having the confidence, desire or ability to use other forms of public transport.
This can, in later life, affect many opportunities and options that are open to other London residents, including job prospects, work experience and social interaction.
The bus training session showed how to help raise confidence, encourage good behaviour and provide coping strategies for anyone with additional needs, to enable them to enjoy and use London’s buses.
Councillors experienced various scenarios that may occur on a bus in an interactive and hands-on session, with officers in attendance to give helpful advice and information.
Councillor Wendy Brice Thompson, LRSC chair, said: “We are grateful to the stakeholders who put on this training.
“To know that all boroughs could access this service for its residents is very helpful, and the value it brings by highlighting strategies for dealing with being on the wrong route, intimidation, loss of Oyster card, for example, helps to make confident, independent travellers.
“We look forward to our future sessions.”