Kirkcaldy school introduces new ‘Walking Bus’ initiative to improve pupil safety

Kirkcaldy West Primary pupils who take part in three "walking buses" to school in the mornings, with PCs Mike Daglish and Martin Hayward who also help through Police Parksafe campaign.
Kirkcaldy West Primary pupils who take part in three "walking buses" to school in the mornings, with PCs Mike Daglish and Martin Hayward who also help through Police Parksafe campaign.

Three walking buses, an increased police presence and staff on duty at traffic trouble spots are just some of the measures introduced by a safety-conscious Kirkcaldy primary school to tackle congestion around its gates.

And, as well as helping to keep Kirkcaldy West pupils much safer on their daily walk to school and teaching them about road safety, the measures are helping to reduce parking problems around the school which had been reaching dangerous levels.

The walking bus initative started at Kirkcaldy West around a year ago on a small scale, with teaching staff collecting children from the Saunders Street playpark just a few streets from the school.

Ewan Trousdale, head teacher, told the Press: “This originally started in an effort to ensure pupils were getting into school on time and promote our breakfast club.

“We work with the Parent Pupil Council where the issue of the amount of traffic on surrounding streets comes up regularly.

“They thought a second walking bus coming from Beveridge Park could help to alleviate this, so that one started up and it has been our most successful, with many parents saying it is easier for them to drop children off there in the mornings.

“The third was introduced more recently, and it leaves from the Oympia Arcade at the end of the High Street.

“We identified where there were gaps and this takes in the town centre area.

“Between the three walking buses and the school buses we cover most of our catchment and it means there is less need for parents to bring children in by car.

“We have seen a knock on effect on congestion and we are hoping more will use them in future.”

Community police officers in the town are also doing their bit through the Parksafe initiative where they provide an unannounced visible presence around schools in the town and advise parents on safe parking, while school staff also go out around the busy areas at peak times to help alleviate any problems.

Mr Trousdale added: “It is working well, and I would like to thank all the staff who give up some of their prep time to do this and help keep our pupils safe.”