While ideas like ‘walking buses’ – groups of children walking to school, with fellow pupils joining them en route – can make a difference at little cost, a report released yesterday said that ‘significant funds’ would be needed to drive forward a scheme to make getting to school safer.
The report has been issued by the Finance and Economics Committee and updates Islanders on the progress being made by the safer routes to school group, led by Deputy Celia Scott Warren.
Their aims are to reduce traffic congestion, improve safety, encourage children’s confidence and independence, improve their health and reduce the time parents spend escorting their children.
So far, the group have looked at pedestrian crossing issues at Grainville and Haute Vallée and problems with the exit at Jersey College for Girls and set up a pilot project at St Martin’s School.
The committee say the latter project has been successful, reducing the speed of traffic outside the school by up to seven miles per hour.
They have since received requests from several other schools for new projects to be set up.
‘Not all schemes need to be of the size of the St Martin’s School project in order to make a significant impact on the school community and local residents,’ the report said.
‘Often other arrangements such as improved school bus pick-up and drop-off timings, or the introduction of a walking bus, can achieve a great deal at very little cost to the taxpayer.
However, significant funds will need to be identified and allocated in order to drive forward with this type of worthwhile community project.’