Newham children take to streets in national campaign

Several thousand young children across borough took part in a national campaign to encourage motorists to slow down and save lives.

The campaign was organised by road safety charity Brake which wants drivers to slow down to 20mph or lower when they are in built up areas to protect children on foot.

Primary schools in Newham answered the charity’s call on Wednesday (June 15) to make an attempt on the world record for the largest ‘walking bus’. They were joined by tens of thousands of their colleagues across the country.

Staff from Dersingham Primary in Manor Park accompanied 300 children as they wove their way

Drivers in East Ham saw 700 children from Central Park Primary march from their school gates as they made their point carrying banners and placards they had spent many hours creating.

A spokeswoman for the school said: “The walk was very successful. We had 700 children from reception up to Year 6 taking part. By the time the first class got back, the last class were only just leaving our junior playground. The children walked around the outside of the school perimeter.

During the school day classes did a variety of activities to promote road safety.”

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In Forest Gate, more than 300 youngsters from St James Junior School leant their support to the campaign as they left their school to take their message to their local community.

In Beckton 400 children from Winsor Primary School set off on the march accompanied by teachers and other staff.

The aim of the event was to raise awareness of the appalling number of children killed and hurt on roads, help schools to teach children about road safety, and appeal to drivers to slow down in communities.

A spokesman for the charity Brake said 2,382 children are hurt each year while on foot on London and South East roads.

It wants widespread 20mph limits in built-up areas. It says the limits are shown to deliver significant community benefits, including reduced casualties, particularly among children. Many local authorities are implementing 20mph limits as the norm in built-up areas; Brake is appealing to more to follow suit, creating a safer environment for children to walk and cycle.