A SIX-year-old from Trafford has beaten thousands of children from across the UK to be named Brake’s road safety poster competition winner.

Joseph Air, from Elmridge Primary School, Hale Barns, wowed judges with his 'slow down! children around' message and has had his design turned into large professional banners that have gone on display outside his school and Altrincham Fire Station.

He has also won hundreds-of-pounds worth of prizes, including a brand-new bike.

Joseph was among nearly 7,000 children, aged between four and 11, from 500 schools who entered the national competition, sponsored by Co-op Insurance, and supported by the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).

The project, which included free resources for teachers, aimed to inspire and engage children about the need for drivers to slow down so children can walk and cycle to school safely.

It challenged children to create a poster about the dangers of adults speeding.

One winner and two highly commended entries were chosen in two age groups – key stage 1 (aged four to seven), and key stage 2 (seven to11).

As well as having his design turned into large banners, Joseph has also won a brand-new bike, helmet and lights, donated by Halfords, a £100 Hobbycraft hamper, a visit to Altrincham Fire Station, plus £100 of Co-operative Food Store vouchers for his school.

The prizes were presented on Tuesday, September 19 by Brake mascot Zak the Zebra.

Jen Price, a teacher at Elmridge Primary School, said: "At Elmridge, we believe it is very important to educate our pupils about road safety and Brake always has fantastic resources and events to support us with this.

"It is particularly important to us as our school is located in a heavily built up area where speeding is an issue.

"Opportunities like the poster competition help to raise awareness of this amongst our pupils, families and the local community. We are delighted that one of our pupil’s entry has been selected as the winner of the poster competition."

Dave Nichols, community engagement manager at Brake, said: “The poster competition was a fantastic opportunity for schools, children and parents to work together to help raise awareness about the dangers of speeding in their local community – something that puts kids’ lives at risk every day.

"We were really impressed by the high standard of entries we received, but the judges all felt Joseph’s design showed real talent and knowledge about the subject for such a young age. A massive congratulations to Joseph and Elmridge Primary School.”

Paul Etches, head of prevention for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, said: “This is a fantastic example of how everyone, no matter how young, can have a positive influence on road safety.

"Well done Joseph and thank you for creating such an eye-catching design which we are proud to display at Altrincham Fire Station where it will be seen by hundreds of drivers and local families. Our fire fighters have to attend too many road traffic collisions where people are sadly injured, and this important reminder to slow down will hopefully help to keep more people safe.”

Charles Offord, director of distribution and marketing at Co-op Insurance said: “It’s been fantastic to see so many children as young as four take part in an activity which aims to educate children on a very serious subject in such a fun and engaging way. We were delighted to be involved in the competition and we look forward to seeing how the children respond to the winning posters.”

Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for roads policing, said: “As some of the excellent winners of this competition have shown, we have to educate everyone about the dangers that all road users face from dangerous driving and excessive speed. Speeding is still a significant factor in far too many road incidents and that has to change. I want to encourage everyone who took part in this competition to keep talking about the dangers and raising awareness, to help the police keep our roads safe for future generations.”