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Update from council leader - 10 March

Time Square

Cllr Paul Bettison, OBE, Leader of Bracknell Forest Council, said:

While pupils make their return to school and college this week, I would like to thank students and families for their co-operation and patience as we begin the first step of the government’s four-step roadmap on the route back to normal life. I would especially like to thank teachers and school staff for their hard work in making our schools safe.

As many residents will know, Bracknell Forest has an excellent network of traffic-free paths and cycle routes that can be used for travelling to and from school. The risk of catching or spreading COVID-19 is lower outdoors, which makes these forms of travel a safer alternative to public transport, taxis or car shares. To help plan your route to school, download a map of the network.

If walking or cycling is not possible, catching the bus could be a solution. The council has been working with bus operators to ensure this mode of transport is as safe as possible. Since Monday, all local bus services have returned to regular schedules throughout the week and on weekends. Find more information on travelling to school this spring on our website.

Alongside the return to education, Monday also saw some of the social contact restrictions ease. You are now allowed to leave home for recreation and exercise outdoors with your household or support bubble, if you’re eligible for one, or with one person from outside of your household. Care home residents are now also allowed one regular visitor, which I hope will bring joy to many across Bracknell Forest. You can read details on the roadmap out of lockdown on GOV.UK.

While this is a positive step forward for us all, please do remain vigilant and continue to follow the ‘hands, face, space’ guidance, and remember to let fresh air in wherever possible and isolate immediately if you, or someone you live with, test positive for COVID-19.

Finally, I would like to end this week’s column by wishing residents a Happy Mother’s Day for this Sunday 14 March. Despite another challenging year, I am truly in awe of the dedicated and selfless actions that Bracknell Forest parents have taken to keep their families and loved ones safe.

I hope you have a good week and continue to protect yourselves, your loved ones and our borough.