CHILDREN from three primary schools in Trowbridge have been celebrating safer walking, cycling and scooting routes to and from school along Hilperton Road on a special walk to school day event held today (Tuesday, May 17).

Wiltshire Council has recently completed work on a new £480,000 walking and cycling scheme on Hilperton Road in Trowbridge, which enables children from around the area to make safer, journeys to school and from school on foot, or by bike or scooter.

The scheme offers segregated facilities for all pedestrians and cyclists, as well as several new, safer crossings plus a new cycle track. It helps to link to the Trowbridge cycle network, making it easier and safer for cyclists to get around the town and leave their cars at home.

Pupils from Bellefield Primary, Paxcroft Primary and Castle Mead Primary were urged to ‘bling their ride’ and add decorations to their shoes, bike or scooter, as they and their parents left the car at home for the day.

The day was chosen because it falls into Living Streets’ walk to school week, and as part of making children safer, the council is working with Sustrans, which provided scooter training sessions for some of the school children.

Cllr Dr Mark McClelland, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “It’s great to see all these school children walking, scooting and cycling to school today using these new facilities on Hilperton Road. I’d also like to thank them for adding lots of colour and fun to a Tuesday morning with their decorations.

“The new facilities, particularly the new crossings, make it much easier and safer for people to walk and cycle along this road and we hope that it will encourage more people to do so.

“Helping people to stay active and reducing carbon emissions are both key parts of our business plan, and cycling, walking and scooting can improve physical and mental health and improve air quality.
“We look forward to more children and their parents making safer journeys to and from school thanks to this new facility on Hilperton Road.”

Gemma Brooks, reception teacher at Paxcroft Primary School, said: “We have had lots of fun taking part in this event. As a school, we encourage our children to make healthier choices, including walking or riding to school if they can.

“Some of our families will use the Hilperton Road to get to school, so it is great that they will be able to make use of the new, safe cycle route.”

Jane Deeley, Wiltshire’s Road Safety Education Manager, added: “For us, it’s an ongoing activity, providing the practical training to give people the skills they need to become safe road users.

“The idea is to get the children early on so that they work to become independent road users.”