All aboard the walking bus
May 26, 2018
A generation ago, 70% of us walked to school – now it’s less than half!
Cramlington town councillors and Shanklea Primary School have joined forces to try and reverse that decline.
Pupils have put their best foot forward by joining a walking bus and members of Cramlington Town Council have worked together on a project that will help improve parking issues and alleviate traffic congestion at peak times near the school.
Parking spaces and a drop-off area have been established at the Masonic Hall near Cramlington Village, at Middle Farm Court.
Town and county councillors Christine Dunbar and Barry Flux have both allocated funding for the work through their members local improvement schemes budgets.
The project is also supported by fellow town councillors Mark Swinburn, Norman Dunbar, Pat Heard and Loraine De Simone.
An arrangement has been established with the Masonic Lodge to make a parking area available from Monday to Friday each week during term time for use as a drop off area for students, and also for some staff parking.
The councillors expressed their delight that a solution has been implemented which not only provides a safe dropping off point for pupils but also alleviates traffic problems for nearby residents.
The parking facility is around 250 metres from the school and can be accessed via a network of footways and cycle paths, so the arrangements also serve to a encourage healthy approach to travelling to school.
Helen Brown, headteacher at Shanklea Primary School said: “In partnership with the community, voluntary and other groups, everyone has gone the extra mile to promote sustainable transport for the journey to school.
“This scheme should help our pupils and parents make positive behaviour changes around travel and alleviate problems surrounding the school run. It encourages a reduction in car use and an increase in the number of children walking, cycling, scooting and taking public transport to school.
“In response to this project as well as other initiatives we have been involved in, Shanklea school has won regional and national awards by showing an innovative approach to promoting active travel. We are currently Modeshift Gold winners. We are delighted by this achievement which also enhances the county’s environment and heritage.”
Councillors Christine Dunbar, Pat Heard and Norman Dunbar are seen with headteacher Helen Brown and the walking bus as it travels from the Masonic Lodge to the school.