HELPING children to become safer independent pedestrians is the focus of a free training initiative by Cheshire County Council.

During the last school year more than 1,200 primary school children across Cheshire benefited from the ‘Let’s Walk’ road safety programme, which is led by volunteer instructors.

Subject to headteacher’s approval, the instructors can be parents, teachers, teaching assistants, governors or another member of the community.

The authority is now preparing to roll out another series of one-day training courses to equip volunteers with the skills to lead Year 3 or Year 4 pupils in two hour-long practical roadside sessions.

The training is reinforced back in the classroom with a variety of free resources which include booklets, bookmarks, maps and aerial photos, all supported with a teacher’s kit.

The initiative is overseen by the authority’s Road Safety Unit who ensure the route which children walk is as safe as possible.

Children’s services executive member David Rowlands said: “Awareness of road safety is an essential part of teaching children to become safe, independent pedestrians, so that they can enjoy the health and environmental benefits of walking.

“By teaching children these vital skills, we hope this in turn will encourage parents to walk to school with their children and therefore reduce traffic and congestion at the school gate.”

A volunteer instructor training course will take place on March 17 at the County Sports Club in Chester.

For further information about the Let’s Walk scheme, or to book a place on a training course, please contact Gill Shaw, Cheshire County Council’s Road Safety Unit on 01244 973601 or email