Our boy lollipop

Rob Stanley has been helping youngsters – walking to school – to cross the road for 20 years. He’s been a familiar and friendly figure keeping children safe outside Widcombe Infant and Junior Schools.

Rob is one of many crossing patrol people helping to keep children safe in our city. An important job as more schools in Bath and North East Somerset are being asked to celebrate this year’s Walk to School Week by encouraging long-term sustainable travel to and from the school gates.

Rob Stanley has been helping families cross the road at Widcombe schools for the past two decades and his service is being acknowledged in a celebration next week by the schools and by the council leader, Councillor Kevin Guy.

Walk to School Week 2021 is a national event taking place from May 17 to 21 celebrating walking to school and highlights the benefits for the environment and people’s health.

Bath & North East Somerset Council’s vision is that every child should be able to travel to school in a healthy, sustainable and safe way and encourage schools to support this by making a School Travel Plan tailored to their school. 

Councillor Manda Rigby, cabinet member for Transport, said: “Walk to School Week is an important initiative that encourages parents and children to make healthy and sustainable travel choices to get to school. However, walking to school is not just for one week so we hope it will inspire schools in Bath and North East Somerset to commit to a School Travel Plan if they haven’t already. Encouraging children to walk, cycle or scoot to school reduces traffic congestion at school drop-off and pick-up times and has numerous health and environmental benefits.

“I’d like to give my heartfelt congratulations to Rob Stanley for his remarkable service to Widcombe Infant and Junior Schools over the past 20 years. He has shown dedication to the role and I know his service is much appreciated by the families.”

Edmund Knollys, Widcombe Schools’ PTA Chair said: “Encouraging more children and their parents and carers to walk, cycle or scoot is better for them, our city, and our planet, but it wouldn’t happen without walk to school initiatives and the dedication of school crossing patrols like Rob.”

Twenty-seven schools in B&NES have already developed a School Travel Plan via Modeshift STARS, the national awards scheme that recognises schools that have shown excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable travel. Two of the schools, Bathampton Primary School and Chew Stoke Church School, are the only schools in the West of England to achieve a gold award.

Schools can find more information on the Modeshift STARS website or contact Alasdair_yule@bathnes.gov.ukfor support.

Walk to School Week is a five-day walking challenge celebrating walking to school and is organised by UK everyday walking charity Living Streets.