I love walking to and from school with my children and I am so pleased that from our new house it is easier to walk as before we were reliant on the car. I love having the time to chat to the children as they amble along, learning about their day.
I love that you notice the seasons change. Leaves are kicked in autumn and blossom is thrown in spring. They will usually find an interesting leaf / stick / stone to take to school and show their friends too!
I remember walking to school when I was little. My favourite time was after fireworks night, my brother and I would count who saw the most fireworks on the ground on the way to school. I also remember trudging to school in the snow and having to dry my socks and shoes on the radiator when I got there!
However, there are more cars on the school run than there were in the 1980's and while the walk to school is fun, I am very aware of the danger that the traffic presents. In an ideal world our walk would run completely off road like this ... (this is what the start of our school run looks like).
But of course, the second half of our school run is along a busy road, and there are some very tricky points in the road to cross. It is not always easy with two children and a pushchair to navigate. We always cross the road where we can at lights and zebra crossings but in busy traffic zebra crossings can be tricky too. On our walk to school we have no lollipop ladies which is sad as I always remember ours when I was a child.
In our area we know all too well the importance of Lollipop ladies (or men!). In 2013 a man lost control of his car outside a local school and careered into the lollipop lady on the crossing. 5 children and 4 adults were hurt and the lollipop lady Karen Williams was hailed a hero as she selflessly put herself in front of the children that day. You can read more on that story here. I hate to think what could have happened had that lollipop lady not been there that day.
Although there are 20,000 lollipop people still working across the UK, this number is dwindling. It is a topic of concern for many parents - you can read discussions on the Mumsnet Forum. Churchill have done some interesting research too...
- 95 per cent of parents and 88 per cent of children (aged 5 – 11) feel safer knowing there is a Lollipopper present on their route to school
- 91 per cent of parents see a Lollipopper as being safer than a zebra or pedestrian crossing
- Following UK legislation in 2000 stating that lollipoppers were no longer a legal requirement for schools, an increasing number of the iconic lollipop men and women have been taken off the road in recent years. One-third (32 per cent) of parents went on to reveal that a lollipopper had recently been removed from their local area with a further 61 per cent stating no crossing alternative had been put in place.
In a bid to help save our lollipop people, Churchill Insurance are working on a campaign to fund 50 new lollipop people across the country. Have you recently lost a lollipop person from your area or do you think you really need one? You can nominate your local school for funding here.
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