Parents, teachers and students from nine Galway City and Oranmore schools were invited to a celebration hosted by An Taisce Green-Schools in the G Hotel on Wednesday, November 23. The schools took part in a Green-Schools Travel Maintenance Pilot Project which focused on schools who had previously achieved the coveted Green Flag award for sustainable travel: walking, cycling, scooting and using public transport on the journey to school.

Holy Trinity and St. Michaels Boys N.S. have a very successful walking bus from Ballybane Church to the two schools. The walking bus is an established method of getting pupils to school in an active and environmentally friendly way. Parents and pupils meet at Ballybane Church and then pick up more pupils and parents on the route to school; usually they have up to 45 pupils and four parents taking part on a daily basis.

Scoil an Linbh Íosa, Galway City Centre and St. James N.S, Bushy Park both have successful walking buses from separate park ‘n’ stride locations at Galway Shopping Centre and Bushy Park Church. Parents and pupils meet in the morning and walk to school as a walking bus.

Speaking at the event on Wednesday, Tiarnan McCusker, An Taisce-Green Schools said “We wanted to thank the schools for taking part, in particular the mothers and fathers who volunteered for the various walking buses in schools around the City. The congestion in Galway is at a critical level, local vehicle pollution is increasing and in Ireland just 19% of primary and 12% of post primary children meet the physical activity guidelines of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day.* The walking bus is an excellent solution to all of these issues and I want to thank all of the schools in Galway City and County who are making it happen.”

Five schools attended the event in the G Hotel: Scoil an Linbh Íosa, Francis Street; St. James N.S., Bushy Park; Holy Trinity N.S. and St. Michaels Boy’s N.S., Mervue and Calasanctius College, Oranmore.  Gaelscoil De hÍde and Oranmore Boys N.S., Oranmore and Colaiste Einde and Salerno Secondary School also took part in the Green-Schools maintenance pilot project. The project was supported by the National Transport Authority (NTA).