As children return to school in September, the council’s Road Safety team share their top tips for ensuring children and parents are ready for the journey ahead and can stay as safe as possible.
Families are being advised to take to two wheels or travel on foot if they can and plan out journeys to allow extra time as an increase in traffic is expected.
Merseytravel have invited families to rethink how they travel, encouraging all to walk and cycle where possible, especially for families that live within a mile or two of their school. This will help to leave public transport available for those who live a little further away.
Make sure you’ve checked out the top tips from our Road Safety team before setting off on the journey to school. These include:
Map it out
If you’re travelling to a new school, trying a different route or getting to school on foot or bike, there’s help available to plan and prepare for your journey.
- View cycle paths around the borough using the Visit Wirral Map
- View more information on walking to school on the Living Streets website
- View the Merseyrail Journey Planner for travelling by Public Transport
School crossing patrol will be back on duty to help make the journey to school safer so make sure you always cross with them, or use a pedestrian crossing.
Allow extra time
There will be more traffic on the road so when you plan your route, allow extra time to get there (including for any arrangements that specific schools might have in place).
You could test out your route to make sure you’re prepared.
Plan for the end of the journey too
With social distancing guidelines in place, making sure you know what you’re going to do at the end of that route is just as important as planning the route.
If walking or cycling, will you need to pack a change of shoes or clothes or where will a bike or scooter be stored? (residents should find out their school’s arrangements for storage).
If necessary to drive, park safely and where possible consider parking further away and walking the last five minutes of the journey. This will help reduce congestion and pollution around the school gates and allow families to maintain social distancing.
Gear up and be prepared
For those taking the journey on two wheels, bikes need to have had all of the relevant safety checks either at home or can be taken to a cycle hub. Children need to remember a helmet!
For families where this might be the first time that children are getting back in the car, children need to have the correct car seat.
Stay alert on the road
Help children to stay alert and remind them of the road safety messages when using the road. Using a mobile phone or other distractions such as listening to music should be avoided to ensure that they can look, listen and be as safe as possible on the journey to school.
If parents have a child starting secondary school this year, tips on how to prepare them for their journey can be found online with the ‘How to get to secondary school’ guide.
Before setting off, families may want to check for any roadworks that could impact on their route and the time needed for the journey to school.