Childwall children become road safety inspectors

The children were marking the adults recently in Childwall as they scored their local streets for road safety.

Year 5 pupils from Childwall Church of England primary school worked with national charity Sustrans to test just how safe their area is for walking and cycling.

The pupils conducted Sustrans’ Big Street Survey to look for danger points on children’s routes to school and suggest ways their area could be improved so that more children can walk or cycle to classes. They invited local Councillor Jeremy Wolfson to join in the survey and presented their findings to Liverpool’s senior road safety officer Martin McIntyre.

Pupils are now writing up a manifesto which they will send to their local MP as part of Sustrans’ Campaign for Safer Streets, which asks for all children to have the right to a safe walking and cycling route to school.

In the UK only 4% of school children commute to school by bike or scooter, but research shows that nearly half of all children want to use two wheels for transport. A recent national YouGov survey found that road safety was the biggest concern for parents. They said that slower speeds, more dedicated walking and cycling routes and safer crossings were among the traffic measures that would allow their children to walk and cycle to school more often than they currently do.

Sustrans’ Bike It Officer Alice Swift said: “Children really want to cycle or walk to school but the roads are often perceived to be too dangerous. The Big Street Survey will help to identify the changes we need to create a safer route. Sometimes these might be quite small changes such as ensuring cars do not block the cycle lanes outside school. I was so impressed with the pupils in Childwall. They worked really hard and had some fantastic suggestions to improve the streets around their school.”

Councillor Wolfson said: “It is great that the children from Childwall CE are getting involved in the Big Street Survey. Road safety  around schools is a very important issue and I believe  that their findings, which they have worked very hard on, are  should be  considered  very seriously  – they are the ones most affected by this issue and they deserve to have their views taken into account.”

Sustrans’ Campaign for Safer Streets urges parents and teachers to write to their local MP asking for every child to be given the right to a safe journey to school. Sustrans wants to see more funding for safe routes and to actively encourage children to walk, cycle or scoot safely to school.

You can join the campaign at www.sustrans.org.uk/saferstreets

Pictured (leftto right) Martin McIntyre, Councillor Jeremy Wolfson and Alice Swift