CHILDREN in St Agnes now have a safe place to shelter and meet up to join a walking bus to school.

That is after a new pedestrian waiting shelter has been installed in St Agnes Parish Council’s Trelawny Road car park to encourage active travel in the village.

The ‘Active Travel’ shelter provides a meeting place for St Agnes Academy’s daily walking bus to school and is also a cycle shelter with secure bike racks.

Situated near the St Agnes bike hub, it forms part of a set of wider measures to help St Agnes become a cycling village.

Welcoming the new shelter, Jess Mills, St Agnes ACE Academy headteacher said: “The waiting shelter has really supported our push to encourage active travel to school.

“It will enhance the school’s walking bus service which has been running for the last two years.  It provides pupils with a shelter while waiting for the bus to set off. We hope more parents will consider using the walking bus rather than driving all the way to school.”

Nick Ratcliffe, Sustrans project officer said: “I am really excited to see the shelter installed, this is a great tool in the drive to get more children traveling to school actively…by scooter, bike or in this case by foot.”

The shelter is part of the recent school expansion to enable and encourage pupils to walk to school.

Additional cycle parking provision has also been installed in the car park for use by the public as part of the Village Cycle Pilot Project funded by Cornwall Council’s Local Transport Plan, to enable more people to cycle for short trips around the village and parish.

Cornwall Councillor for St Agnes Pete Mitchell said:  “The shelter for the children using the ‘Walking bus’ facility to school was part of a newly-negotiated transport plan and part of the new school extension. Let’s hope this will keep the walking bus going even in poor weather.”

The new investment in facilities to encourage walking and cycling closely aligns with the ambitions for the cycle hub in the village offering cycle hire, training, skills and led rides and the Parish Council’s Neighbourhood Plan.

It also chimes with the recent announcement by Highways England and Cornwall Council of multi million pound plans to build a comprehensive, high-quality off-road walking and cycling network linking Truro, St Agnes, Perranporth and Newquay.

Cllr Pete Mitchell said: “The proposed cycleway is a tremendous shot in arm for St Agnes and will put the area at the forefront of the move to more greener ways of travelling.

“We have many people who work in Truro who cycle there along the B3277.  This proposed cycleway will make their journeys safer and more pleasant. The cycleway will also attract many visitors to St Agnes and help keep local businesses vibrant. I would pay tribute to the officers of the council who have worked this up and the St Agnes Cycle Hub and local cycling groups who have worked tirelessly on the project.”

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