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walking bus stop signIt’s all aboard for children in Medway as the number of youngsters using the Walking Bus service doubles. Almost 1,500 youngsters now take part in the project – up from 734 previously – and there are 47 active routes.

The Medway Council scheme is a fun, healthy, and safe way of travelling to school. Powered by good, old-fashioned legwork, the children and volunteers walk in a group along a set route, picking up or dropping off ‘passengers’ at specific ‘bus stops’ on their journey to and from school.

The rise in users was boosted with a ‘Hedgehog Hike’ and ‘Social Netwalk’ event during International Walk to School Month where 17 schools in Medway took part. Portfolio Holder for Front Line Services, councillor Phil Filmer, said: “We’re delighted more and more children are taking part in this scheme.

“It’s a great way for children to get to school, helps encourage them to be safe on the road as well as having health and environmental benefits.”

A walking bus can be easy to set up and must have a minimum of two adults per route (often staff or parents); an adult ‘driver’ at the front of the bus to and a ‘conductor’ at the back of the bus, ensuring that a ratio of one adult to every six children is met.

Younger children and babies transported in pushchairs or buggies may join the walking bus if accompanied by their parent or carer.

To find out more about individual schemes in Medway, email travel.safety@medway.gov.uk or visit http://www.kmwalktoschool.co.uk/

In a separate success, Medway Council has now issued 40,000 reflective tags to schoolchildren to help them stay safer on their journeys to and from school. The tags, which can be attached to backpacks, bags or on clothing, helps make children visible in headlights up to 150m sooner and it makes children up to 15 times more visible in daylight. Community wardens have helped deliver the tags, which were funded by the council’s Public Health department.

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Road safety st john fisherMore than 200 pupils at St John Fisher RC School have been working on their road safety understanding and abilities. The Year 7 and 8 pupils have been working with Medway Council’s Road Safety Team and Kent Police PCSO Rowan Cornwall on a number of activities and discussions. For many students, starting secondary school provides the first opportunity to independently travel to school. More

MUST MAKE SAFETY ITS CENTREPIECE:

ROAD SAFETY FOUNDATION TRACKING DATA 2012

Report measures safety levels across 27,000 miles of motorway and A road where majority of UK road deaths occur

  • Findings of huge economic rewards from low-cost safety engineering
  • UK’s busiest higher-risk roads are named, along with each region’s highest-risk road
  • New average speed cameras and interactive speed signs feature strongly on most improved roads
  • Single carriageways now six times more risky than motorways

Simple attention to safety engineering detail has resulted in extraordinary cuts in road deaths and serious injuries, according to the latest tracking survey* by the Road Safety Foundation. Fatal and serious injury crashes on just 10 stretches of treated road fell by nearly two thirds from 541 to 209 (2001-2005 and 2006-2010) – and a boost to the economy worth £35m every year. More

The Medway Community Safety Partnership is holding a series of community engagement meetings for residents across the area from next month.
Meetings will take place on a three-monthly basis in local areas across Medway.
The first will take place on Tuesday, 9 October, between 7 and 9pm at the All Saints Church, Magpie Hall Road, Luton.
The purpose of the meeting is to allow local community safety issues to be discussed with representatives from Medway Council and Kent Police.
Medway Community Safety Partnership Chair Councillor Mike O’Brien will be there to answer questions alongside representatives from Kent Police and Medway Council.
These will include Kent Police Chief Superintendent Neil Jerome and Medway Council’s Robin Cooper, the Director of Regeneration, Community and Culture, and its Assistant Director for Frontline Services Andy McGrath.
Cllr O’Brien said “We plan to conduct a series of meetings with residents in areas across Medway to give them the opportunity to discuss community safety issues where they live.
“Similar meetings will be held elsewhere in Medway on a 3 monthly basis, and we will publicise these as they are arranged.”
“I would like to invite anyone who wishes to come along to the 9 October meeting in All Saints o please come along as all are invited.”
For further information members of the public should please call 333333.

Medway Council’s Safer Journeys Officers will be visiting a school and children’s centre next week to speak to parents and show them how a small step can make a big difference to a family’s safety. More

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