Giant Walking Bus 2012 - what happened

On 20 June 2012 more than 63,000 children from 351 primary schools marched for road safety, to promote the benefits of walking and the importance of drivers slowing down in communities to protect children.

Huge thanks to all the schools that took part, embracing the opportunity to teach pupils about road danger and the benefits of sustainable, active travel, promoting road safety to parents and drivers in the wider community, and raising valuable funds for Brake.

See below for examples of what schools did on the day and feedback, and see more pictures on our facebook page.

The Giant Walking Bus is at the heart of Brake’s campaign for slower speeds in communities to enable children and adults to walk and cycle without fear or threat. Brake used the event to get the message out through the media to drivers to slow down to 20mph around homes, schools and shops. Brake also appealed to local authorities across the UK to implement more 20mph limits and other measures to protect people, like safe pavements, paths and crossings. Read our media releases.

What schools did

Gorsey BankGorsey Bank Primary School in Wilmslow, Cheshire, was visited by local firefighters along with their fire engine, and a local police officer attended to give a talk to children about road safety before the march. The children raised a phenomenal sum of £1,528 for Brake.

Mrs Tiff Jordan, travel team leader, said: “Our walking bus was great! All the kids dressed in bright colours and made placards of all shapes and sizes and there was a lot of interest from parents too.”

Rokesly Infant School in North London took part in the Giant Walking Bus for the fourth consecutive year and were joined for the morning by the local neighbourhood policing team. They were also led by the local authority’s road safety mascot. The children raised a fantastic £733 in support of Brake’s work.

Head teacher Mrs Karren Hughes, said “The Giant Walking Bus is an annual event at the school now, and the children get a lot out of it.”

Starks Field Starks Field Primary School and Latymer All Saints Primary School combined forces to raise awareness of traffic congestion around Edmonton, North London.More than 240 children from Starks Field marched to Latymer All Saints to help get the message out to drivers to slow down around school, while also learning important road safety lessons as part of the day and raise funds for Brake.

Starks Field Primary teacher Mark Ellis, said: “The area where the school is can become quite congested with traffic, especially during peak hours. This is why we need to raise awareness. We are 100% certain this will help raise awareness of road safety, it will also raise awareness of Brake, its work and how we can help to support it in the future.”

High View and Pennycross Primary Schools in Plymouth worked together to run walking buses in different parts of the city to help spread the message to drivers to slow down around schools. Children from the two schools also raised more than £220 for Brake. Both schools take part every year and work together to co-ordinate their own regular walking buses and hold road safety assemblies and lessons as part of their curriculum.

Nicola Paige, Teaching Assistant and Walking Bus Operator at High View School, said: “We do this every year as road safety is very important to us. The kids are vulnerable because they are little and they are less aware of the dangers, but this is a great way of raising awareness.”

Ley TopLey Top Primary School in Bradford teamed up with children’s health professionals at Bradford District Care Trust to run their walking bus after concerns were raised by parents and residents about the volume of traffic outside the school. The Giant Walking Bus event kick-started a wider programme that encourages long term road safety for nursery children and physical activity and healthy eating for families, in partnership with Allerton Children’s Centre, local residents, neighbourhood police and the fire service.

Parental involvement worker Jacqui Tate said: “It was a great day and a really good way to spread the message of road safety to the community. The children dressed up and did a zebra crossing role-play. Local firemen and the lollipop person came and gave a talk about road safety, and the children made their own posters.”

Harefield Primary School in Southampton ran a range of road safety activities on the day of the event, including a road safety assembly, learning about and designing cycle helmets in class and receiving a talk about staying safe from their local Police Community Support Officer who also accompanied them on their march. The children raised an incredible £1,825 for Brake.

Particular thanks go to the following star schools that raised more than £500 through the event:

Acresfield Primary School, Chester

Banchory Primary School, Clackmannanshire

Benenden Church of England Primary School, Kent

Central Park Primary School, London

Christ the King Primary School, Cardiff

Epsom Primary School, Surrey

Fir Bank Primary School, Oldham

Glengarnock Primary School, North Ayrshire

Gorsey Bank Primary School, Cheshire

Harefield Primary School, Southampton

Hempnall Primary School, Norwich

Ilsham Church of England Academy, Torquay

Little Plumstead Primary School, Norwich

Montbelle Primary School, London

Rokesly Infant School, London

Rushy Meadow Primary School, Surrey

St Martin’s Roman Catholic Primary School, East Lothian

St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Chorley

St Monica’s Catholic Primary School, Milton Keynes

Sudbury Primary School, Wembley

Victoria Primary School, Ballyhalbert, County Down

Whittle Le Woods Church of England Primary School, Chorley