Published: 12:32, 06 November 2018
Two schools have been congratulated for the long-term success of their walking bus schemes – one of which has been running for the best part of two decades.
A ceremony awarding birthday certificates saw Bridge and Patrixbourne Primary School in Canterbury praised for its three year-old walking bus.
Minster CEP School in Ramsgate was celebrated for reaching an impressive 19-year anniversary.
The Thanet school is used to receiving accolades for its walking bus service, being named Overall Walk to School Champion in the Green School Awards 2018 in February.
Walking Bus is part of the KM Walk to School campaign run by the educational charity the KM Charity Team. Groups of pupils are chaperoned by adult volunteers on an organised walk to school.
It is one of three walk to school schemes offered by the charity, along with Super Wow (Walk on Wednesday) and Green Footsteps.
Schools operating a walking bus are given resources including sticker cards and end-of-term goodies to reward pupils using the service and encourage others to join in the fun.
Currently, more than 50 walking buses operate across the county, helping 1,000 children to safely get to school.
Simon Dolby, chief executive of the KM Charity Team, said: “Traffic congestion, particularly in the streets surrounding our schools, is a problem that requires action by the community if it is to be tackled effectively.
“These schools - and others who take up walk to school schemes - are leading the way and deserve the highest praise for their efforts.
“They are encouraging pupils to adopt healthier lifestyles and learn essential road safety skills, while improving the environment to the benefit of all. It gives me great pleasure to say thank you and well done to everyone involved.”
Organisations supporting walk to school include Kent County Council, Medway Council, Three R’s Teacher Recruitment, Whitefriars, Maidstone Borough Council, Ashford Borough Council, London Borough of Bexley, Whites Transport, Ashford International Hotel, Orbit, Volker Highways, Countrystyle Recycling, Golding Vision (part of Golding Homes), Specsavers, Eurostar, London Array, and EduKit.
The walking bus birthday certificates were awarded during a ceremony staged at the Mercure Great Danes Hotel in Maidstone.