LET'S start with a simple statement - the Safer to Routes to Schools initiative is a good thing. No one could disagree with that, surely.

How disappointing, then, to see that this attempt to make sure our children can walk to and from school in safety is being caught up in the web of party politics.

Today we report how Mike Foster, Worcester's Labour MP, has become concerned that Conservative members of the county council might not be supporting moves to cut the speed of traffic around Red Hill School.

The suggestion has, apparently, been made to him that the Tories have decided to object to it because the scheme has his backing.

That's a serious allegation to make and, fortunately, Councillor Robert Rowden, the Conservative leader, has been quick to refute it.

The Tory concern, he says, has nothing to so with politics but revolves around the speed humps which are part of the scheme. His statement - that the Conservatives are not trying to throw out the scheme but to make it reasonable - should be enough to set minds at rest.

Clearly, the undercurrents of the political game have no place in discussions such as this.

The Safer Routes to School programme is undoubtedly saving lives, and it will continue to do so providing each and every one of us takes notice of it.

And there will, of course, be other benefits from promoting healthy attitudes and exercise.

As more parents realise they can take their children to school by walking or cycling in safety, the pressure on our roads caused by mums and dads driving little Johnny and Suzie to school will be dramatically reduced.

Now is the time for all those concerned put their heads together and solved the Red Hill problem before politics seeps any deeper into the issue.