Brake Event

Danger from traffic is a major barrier in enabling more of the village’s children to walk and cycle to school on a daily basis. Following on from the ‘Community Speedwatch Campaign’ in the village in September, Wymeswold Parish Council used ‘Road Safety’ week as another method to promote safer road use. The Parish Council was delighted to be asked to coordinate the East Midlands regional launch of ‘Road Safety Week 2012’ on behalf of ‘Brake’ the road safety charity this year. The event was hosted by Wymeswold Church of England Primary School.

This year’s campaign highlights that slower speeds in towns, cities and villages can help deliver a post-2012 legacy of active communities, and prevent devastating pedestrian and cyclist casualties.

In the run up to launch day, the Parish Council organized a ‘Brake Go20’ poster competition with classes 2, 3, 4 and 5 at the school which was judged by Nicky Morgan MP and County Councillor Richard Shepherd; they also presented 8 children with prizes during school assembly on Friday 16th November. First prize was a ‘Go20’ t-shirt donated by ‘Brake’ and a high visibility back pack given by the Leicestershire & Rutland Road Safety Partnership; all the runners up received a ‘Brake’ t-shirt too.

The children demonstrated just how great it is to be able to walk to school on Monday 19th by forming a ‘Giant Walking Bus’ (or three actually) picking up parents and carers on route for school. Beat Officers Richard Gosling and PCSO Stu Venables accompanied the children along with many volunteers from the village, Parish Councillors and head teacher Becky King. The ‘walking bus’ was quite a spectacle, children carrying placards with road safety messages and the winning ‘Go20’ posters, a ‘florescent glow’ snaked it’s way around the village and gave a clear message to motorists to slow down!

The event received a lot of local and national media interest and the children had a starring role on BBC Breakfast and Central ITV, the later news article gave a clear indication of just how dangerous it is for anyone to cross the A6006 at peak times!

The children were ‘wowed’ on arrival at school by a fire engine and police car waiting for them. The officers of ‘Blue Watch’ at Loughborough Fire & Rescue station and our Police ‘beat’ officers put on a tremendous display and were on hand most of the morning to explain what equipment both vehicles carry, and answer a host of questions from all the children. Playgroup also visited and had the opportunity to sit in the fire engine and learn how a speed radar gun works.

A lot of fun activities around the ‘road safety’ theme were organized for the children on the Monday morning, including a ‘street-a-thon’ coordinated by Leicestershire County Council Road Safety officer Enid Danton which involved the reception class and their ‘buddies’ in class 5 in a role playing activity.

The school’s JRSO’s (Junior Road Safety Officers) presented a marvelous assembly on different aspects of road safety, and there were displays from the Charnwood Road Safety Group, Fire and Rescue, the British Horse Society, Leicestershire and Rutland Road Safety Partnership and ‘Brake’ viewed by the children and visitors. One of these visitors was Leicestershire County Councillor Lesley Pendleton lead member for ‘Transport’ who was very impressed with what she saw at the school.

In addition to this, the school held a ‘Bright day’ on Friday 23rd November and raised £104.00 for ‘Brake ‘too.

Thanks again for making the event such a success to everyone involved, and to Phil Hutchinson who captured the morning in pictures!

Jo Ling.
On behalf of Wymeswold Parish Council.