The Safety and Citizenship programme has really simple goals. It’s to encourage safe and appropriate use of the public transport network in London. It’s run by an organisation, this Museum, which understands how to talk to people. People take for granted that everyone knows you stand on the right on an escalator, that you don’t try to get on a train before people get off first, those sort of things. But actually, unless you tell people and inform people about those things from an early age, then how would you expect anyone to necessarily know that? We need young people to know that, of course, it’s safe. We want them to know how to use the network. We want them to have respect not only for the system itself but for all of the people who ride on the network. The cornerstone for Safety and Citizenship is seeing every child in London in Year Six, aged 10 and 11 and that universal offer I think is really crucial to the success of the programme. – Thanks driver! We have in-school presentations. We have got a really good reputation for being able to go in and use that really tight time you get in a school assembly to deliver persuasive messages in an engaging fashion. Or we use Junior Citizenship Schemes where we work with other agencies particularly the boroughs and the schools. A kind of circuit training for life, really. The London Transport Museum staff are really in a good position to do this. Huge experience with the Schools Liaison Officers who’ve got great experience in this area and as a result of all their knowledge about how the whole education system works this really helps prepare and connect into the national curriculum which is so important that all the young people know. This is a really key moment for preparing them for their independent travel as they get older and move on to wider and bigger things. By the time we get to secondary schools, we’re either looking at particular local transport issues or we’re looking to go in and solve some problems. There’s particular issues at, you know, a bus interchange or on a particular route or there’s trespass and our method’s to go in and actually offer some mitigation to those problems. Laughter The community events are vital in our efforts to keep the network safe and making sure that passengers not only are safe but feel safe. I think sometimes TfL can be this big entity that has no face to it and what Safety and Citizenship do is bring the friendly side of TfL and that real engagement and I think for people to see that we do more than just drive big red boxes from A to B. I think the other thing that’s really important is actually this programme can be tailored. So, yes, there’s the sort of generic programme applied to a lot of Year Six kids across the capital but also that could be geared if there was a particular faith group or a particular community that requires a slight tailoring of the programme for their specific needs because one of the things we pride ourselves in Transport for London is having a network that is accessible to everybody. Transport for London have been fantastic in meeting the needs of our students and in tailoring the activities for their particular needs. They’re so organised. If every partnership that we worked in ran as smoothly as the TfL partnership, then it would make my job so much easier! So it’s always an absolute pleasure to have them in the museum. Just the way they make it real for the kids in a way that they can really understand. It’s amazing to see.
I’m learning loads, it’s great! The Safety and Citizenship team, what they do is vital for our work because whilst the police may focus heavily on enforcement, Safety and Citizenship work on engagement and education programmes and they’re just as important in making a difference to keeping the network safe. This is about our future, this is about people who will potentially be travelling around for many decades to come and I think if you can get young people to be familiar, confident and responsible on our networks from a very early age then that’s got to be good news for them going to be good news for everyone else who’s travelling on the system and it’s going to be good news for London for the years ahead.