Hundreds of pupils from primary schools across South Shields enjoyed a visit by Stagecoach North East bus drivers and a trip on a vintage bus as part of the company’s Green Week ‘Teaching Tuesday’ campaign.
Youngsters from Stanhope Primary School, Mortimer Primary School and Harton Primary School learned about the green energy that modern buses use, with the latest in ‘eco’ technology taking passengers all across the city, and how it helps to improve the environment that they live in.
The young eco warriors were then treated to a journey around the town on an old-fashioned bus and took turns to be bus drivers, sitting in the driver’s chair and tooting the very loud horn! Bus driver Calum Train and duty manager Barry Dobson also brought some green goodies for the pupils, including recycled bags and pens.
At Stanhope Primary School, around 195 children were able to explore the 1964 Daimler double decker bus. Year 2 pupil Holly, aged 7, said: "It was not boring, it was very fun!"
John Vasey, Headteacher at Stanhope Primary School, said: "It was an exciting day for the children and staff and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves!"
4-year-old Luke, a pupil at Mortimer Primary School, said: “It was great, the bus went very bumpy, I loved it upstairs.”
Brenda Catchpole, nursery teacher at Mortimer Primary School, said: "The children enjoyed every minute. Not many of our children get the opportunity to ride on a bus, so they were all very excited.”
Brian Sleightholme, Operations Manager at Stagecoach in South Shields, said: “We were delighted to talk to the children about how ‘green’ our modern buses are and then take them on a little trip on an old-style bus, which they enjoyed very much.
“Stagecoach’s annual Green Week is an important awareness campaign which we are keen to support in our local community, and visiting the school offers a great opportunity to encourage youngsters to think’ green’, as well as having fun.”
Schools in the area were also sent activity sheets to complete during half term. The company encouraged the young ‘eco warriors’ with a list of tasks; including waste recycling, litter picking and walking instead of travelling by car, with prizes for the schools with the best results.
During Green Week, the depot in South Shields took part in a number of activities to raise awareness among staff and customers, including walking or cycling to work, handing out free smart card wallets to customers and giving fruity snacks to all drivers as a healthy treat.
This year the Green Week theme was ‘Green Sky Thinking’, which aimed to raise awareness among staff and customers about the need to continue to develop new ideas to tackle climate change.