Parents responding to appeal to avoid taking car to school gates

THOUSANDS of pupils are walking, riding, or park and striding to school now that the new term has begun.

Staffordshire County Council had appealed to parents of 112,000 pupils who make their own way to and from the classroom every day to avoid taking the car to the school gates wherever possible to reduce congestion.

And the first indications are that parents and pupils are responding to the appeal.

Jonathan Price, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for Education (and SEND) said: "It’s early days but the signs are good, with schools and crossing patrols reporting more pupils arriving on foot or by bicycle than usual – even in the rain.

"I’d like to thank everyone for making the effort and hope that if they’re doing it for the first time that the habit sticks.”

Feedback suggests that most pedestrians are observing social distancing at crossing points, but people are reminded to give crossing patrols space while they wait.

Staffordshire County Council’s Active Travel team is working with 401 schools so parents can reduce reliance on the car for getting their children to school.

Each one has a plan that can be shared with parents showing cycle and walking routes with safe crossing points and – if a car has to be used for part of the journey - places where parents can safely drop their children a little distance from school so they can walk the rest of the way.

Parents are advised to check their school’s website and Facebook page as appropriate for local plans, while help and advice for schools and parents about walking, cycling, ‘park and stride’ is available here .

Coun Price added: "We are concerned that in the current circumstances the number of people who travel to school by car will increase and bring more road congestion, parking problems outside already busy schools and increased air pollution.

"Many children walk or cycle already and that we want them to continue because that’s good for them and good for the environment, but we would say to everyone else please think about ways of reducing car use on the school run.”


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