TRAVEL plan mascot Sam went back to school yesterday to present awards to five children who have stepped out on a walking bus scheme.

Rachael Coulthard, James Reek, Lauren Brice and sisters Meike and Anna Burkhardt all travel to Neville's Cross Primary School, in Durham City, using the successful walking bus scheme.

The school is the first in County Durham to have two walking buses, leaving from outside the nearby pubs, The Pot and Glass and The Stonebridge Inn, which bring the pupils safely to the school gates and give them some healthy exercise on the way

As a reward for their good attendance on the bus, the five children were yesterday presented with tickets to Jack and the Beanstalk at the Gala Theatre, by the Durham County Council mascot.

Other children were presented with prizes such as pencils, rubbers and rulers.

Walking bus co-ordinator Clare Holliman said: "We are going to keep the reward scheme going and keep a record of how many walks each of the children has done and hopefully that will encourage them to join in."