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The walking bus

What is the walking bus?

Two adult operators act as ‘driver' and ‘conductor’ and escort a group of children walking on their journey to and from school. The bus walks along a set route collecting children at ‘bus stops’ on the way at set times.

Volunteer support

Walking buses usually depend totally on volunteer support.

A letter should be sent out to parents:

  • to gauge parental interest and support for the scheme
  • for a lead walking bus operator, who will act as a point of contact for the walking bus(es) 
  • for volunteer drivers and conductors on a rota basis
  • to find how many children would use the walking bus

All volunteers who wish to act as walking bus operators must have completed a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check and should be given training.

Examples to help set up a scheme

For further information on how to set up a walking bus scheme:

Hampshire County Council school travel plans website
The Walking Bus UK from the Bright Kidz website

The WoW scheme (Walk once a week) UK

WoW is a simple scheme that enables schools and local authorities to promote walking to school throughout the entire school year. Children get badges when they walk at least once a week for a month.

Walk once a week on livingstreets website

Benefits

The scheme can provide benefits to children, parents, the school and the community.

The walking bus:

  • promotes healthy exercise
  • develops pedestrian and social skills
  • reduces traffic congestion around schools
  • improves air quality
  • saves time for parents
  • gives children independence, whilst in a safe environment
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