One of the joys of using public transport instead of a car is the ability to relax and read, whether it be delving into a crime thriller on your train into work or leafing through the Guilty Pleasures section of the Metro while crammed into the tube in London.
But for pupils at one Peterborough primary school, whether they are walked in every morning or are dropped off by their parents, they will be able to enjoy reading on their own bus thanks to a new double decker which has been kindly donated by Stagecoach in London.
The grateful recipients of the bus are staff and pupils at St Thomas More Catholic Primary School in Park Lane, Eastfield, with many of the children waving their drawings of a bus in anticipation as the large vehicle was finally delivered after a year long wait.
Explaining the decision to source out a red double decker, school deputy headteacher Becky Dickinson said: “Reading is one of our main areas of improvement as a school.
“Last year we said we wanted to find a new, exciting reading space.
“We decided we wanted a double decker bus and we searched and searched for one.
“In the end we were gifted one by Stagecoach in London after we contacted them.
“They were very forthcoming.
“We were very lucky as it was very generous of them.
“The whole thing has been a year in the making.
“We’re thrilled to bits. It’s brilliant inside.”
The bus was kindly refurbished by Alexander Dennis Limited, a bus and coach builders, before being brought across to the school by Sovereign Recovery, with the tyres donated by Michelin.
All gave their services free of charge.
But despite the long wait to finally have the bus on their premises, there is more work to do for the school until the pupils will finally be able to use it as a quiet reading space.
Becky added: “The next stage is getting some books. It’s something we are working on,
“We are looking at asking local businesses.
“Upstairs there are some tables and reading areas. There is also space for putting bean bags down.
“You can read for pleasure on there and topic books.
“The children will be able to use the bus as a library and can take books home.
“The reason we went for this bus is Year One do a story on a big red bus which gets naughty.
“And Year 6 do a London-based project in the summer.
“The aim is to motivate children to read.”
The bus will now be blessed by the Bishop of East Anglia, the Rt Rev Alan Hopes, at the end of January.
St Thomas More is not the only school to have taken the creative decision to bring in a bus library.
Fourfields Community Primary also had the idea of asking Stagecoach to donate a double decker.
And to make it even better, excited youngsters at the school in Yaxley were able to draw up designs for their new reading space, with more than 400 drawings being submitted, which were used by a London company to create a design for the library.