We’re excited to announce the launch of a new education resource at Safeside, promoting safer and sustainable travel:

Thousands of West Midlands school children are set to benefit from a brand new travel information centre designed and built just for them!

The facility opened today at West Midlands Fire Service’s flagship Safeside safety venue. It has been funded by Centro and is part of a continuing partnership between the West Midlands Safer Travel Partnership Anti Social Behaviour Team, Centro’s Education Team and Safeside.

Young visitors to the centre on Vauxhall Road in Nechells, Birmingham will learn important skills in journey planning, with an emphasis on them developing greater independence as they move towards secondary school.

“By encouraging walking, cycling, public transport and car sharing, not only can children become more autonomous, they can also make their journeys greener,” explained Rob Hattersley, Safeside manager.

“The scenario will eventually make use of electronic tablets on which pupils will plan a journey from Safeside to other Birmingham attractions, using various online tools, maps and apps. They’ll compare the different travel options by time, distance, price and CO2 emissions. But, because it takes place in a realistic travel centre with maps and leaflets – just like the one at New Street – children will also learn the value of paper-based materials.”

Laura Graham of Safer Travel added “This resource is a great addition to an already fantastic centre. Children can learn exactly what they need to know about using public transport, and the more confident children feel in preparing to travel and the safer they feel when using the bus the more they will be encouraged about using it.”

Linked to the new travel scenario is a new interactive workshop, based on a National Express double decker bus which is parked on Safeside’s indoor street. The session will focus on the benefits of using public transport and the skills and awareness children need to do so safely.

Pupils will see themselves on CCTV, deal with a suspicious character, and watch and discuss a video about the consequences of travel crime and what to do about it. They will be presented with several real-life travel dilemmas, including what to do if they forget their fare or miss their stop.

Safeside is currently taking 2014-15 bookings for primary schools. Book online at www.safeside.org.uk/juniorcitizen.

The Safer Travel Partnership is comprised of Centro, the region’s public transport co-ordinator, West Midlands Police, British Transport Police and transport operators.

Picture Caption – Ornela Muslimovic, left front, Neha Akhtar, Sharmin Akhtar and Kadeeza Khanom. Safeside manager Rob Hattersley, rear left, and Laura Graham of the Safer Travel Partnership Anti Social Behaviour team.

Press Release by West Midlands Fire Service. Date:Thursday, October 2, 2014 – 14:30