Beating that ‘get in the car’ habit
AN incredible 240,000 school run car journeys were taken off the county’s roads during the last academic year thanks to the KM Walk to School partnership.
The charity’s achievements were celebrated at an awards night in Rochester last Friday which saw a schemes in Ashford and Folkestone among the winners.
Walk to School began in 2000 with just a handful of schemes, but now has thousands of children and volunteers.
Parents and children embracing the Walking Bus scheme took 100,000 cars off the road, and Walking Bug and Walk on Wednesday schemes removed a further 140,000 journeys.
KM Walk to School chairman, Simon Dolby, said: “This has been an amaz- ing year - we have seen an explosion of interest in our walk to school work.”
The Walking Bus has far exceeded its target of 100 buses, with 136 now operating in the county and another 30 in the pipeline.
There are now 1,000 volunteers taking a turn each week to escort a Walking Bus, and those buses are transporting 3,000 children to school each week.
The awards evening was attended by guests drawn from schools, volunteers, sponsors and supporters.
Churchill School’s Walking Bus at Hawkinge won the top Walking Bus in the Folkestone area. In just over a year, numbers using the bus shot up from four children to 28.
The school was successful when it introduced Walk on Wednesday last year, and one of its classes came top for having the highest number of pupils in the district using the scheme.
Kerryanne Larsen, of Furley Park Primary School, won top Walking Bus volunteer for the Ashford area for her tireless efforts in promoting and sustaining the Walking Bus and for her belief in its value to the community.
Top Walk on Wednesday (WOW) and Walking Bug school in the Ashford area was Kingsnorth Primary.
The school has taken 4,015 schoolrun car journeys off local roads in the last academic year through its participation in Walking Bug and WOW, and now has six classes taking part in WOW.
The Ashford Dover and Folkestone Walking Bus winners: Top Bus The Churchill School, Top Co-ordinator Furley Park, Top WOW School Kingsnorth CEP Picture: Nick Johnson pd 1515144