Making great strides to ease school run
A PETERBOROUGH school has become the first in the city to introduce a radical new travel initiative.
Southfields Infant and Junior schools are urging parents of youngsters to “Park and Stride” to prevent dangerous traffic congestion outside the schools at peak times.
Parents can drive to the designated car park in Glatton Drive and then finish their journey by foot to the schools around the corner in Southfield Avenue.
Now Peterborough City Council’s Travelchoice team has painted signs along the route for families to follow and is looking at ways it could roll it out city-wide.
The idea was conceived by teacher Heather Dawson while she was drafting a travel plan to make the school run safer.
Mrs Dawson said: “It aims to reduce parking problems at the school entrance and also means children can enjoy a calm, safe and sociable walk into school.
“When we looked at the travel plan two years ago we noticed the car park in Glatton Drive and approached the council who said we could use it. It is proving to be very popular, most days it is full.”
To get families involved, Travelchoice encouraged both schools to run a poster competition for the children to design a Park and Stride sign. Year six pupil Katy Ashdown and her family designed the winning poster, which is now displayed in the Glatton Drive car park.
But when the Evening Telegraph went down to the car park yesterday there were only five cars using it with many parents still choosing to park at the front of the school.
Mum Liz Panton (36), of Thistle Drive, Stanground, said: “This route is extremely safe for the children to use and it is convenient for parents.
“Over the past few months, it has really taken off but there are still a lot of parents who are not aware of the system.”
Grandmother Sandra Goodley, of Ellwood Avenue, Stanground, said: “I think it is a great idea but I don’t think enough people are aware of it.”
Melita Wright (29), of Havelock Drive, Stanground, said: “I use it to drop my eldest off but I park around the front of the school to take my younger child in.”
But Nicki Smith (28), of Havelock Drive, Stanground, said: “It is a good idea in theory but when you have a two-year-old and a baby and you are in a hurry, it is not feasible to park further away and walk.”
The council’s school travel officer, Nicola Winstone is hoping to encourage other schools in the area to take up a similar initiative.
She said: “It is a simple solution for families that have no alternative than to drive to school to reduce their carbon footprint and get some exercise.”
signs: Peterborough City Council has now put Follow The Feet To School signs along Southfields Infant and Junior schools’ Park and Stride route.