Right now, on the mean streets of Thornton Heath you might be disturbed to see students from Kensington Avenue School walking Ark-entry like, 2 by 2, in what we guess will be less than solemn procession as they'll be legitimately skiiving off lessons for a full 500m round trip. If there's cheering involved, that's because they're part of a national attempt, coordinated by the charity Brake to break the World Record for number of kids involved in a "Walking Bus". Last year 80,000 tromped about in the name of road safety. This year, they're expecting to smash that with 200,000 kids on the streets (in crocodiles, fully supervised, on pavements, no actual buses in sight).
With our usual cynicism about world records we strongly suspect Brake set the original record just so they could break it for publicity each year, but fair play. Charities have to grab headlines somehow.
Brake, of course, has a road safety agenda and this mass school walkabout will help educate children and parents about safe walking school but this also coincides nicely with the Olympic Legacy Plan to encourage walking generally, and walking to school especially, ahead of 2012.
All the kids taking part with get a Brake sticker (remember when the reward of a sticker could make your day?) and we wouldn't be at all surprised if this unwieldy children's "Walking Bus" actually moves faster than your regular, jam packed, engine powered bus.