Mak­ing great strides to ease school run

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News - By TARA DUN­DON

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.

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