When we reviewed our travel plan it became apparent that our main area to be addressed was the number of families parking directly outside the school during drop off and collection times despite parking restrictions being in place. The risks to the safety of our pupils, together with the impact on our neighbours were unacceptable. We developed a two-fold plan, firstly to encourage more pupils to ride scooters or bikes to school rather than arrive by car.
Secondly for those parents who continued to drive we proposed engaging our pupils in educating them on appropriate, safer parking.
The installation of our new cycle/scooter shelter, funded by a KCC School Travel Plan Grant was completed during the summer holidays. We are now able to accommodate 15 bikes in racks, as well increasing our scooter capacity to 45. Additional free-standing scooters and bikes can be accommodated under the new shelter. To complete the facility, we purchased outdoor lockers for cycle helmets to encourage the children to wear appropriate safety equipment. The shelter has been full on most days since its installation, especially on Fridays when the Headteacher oversees a large scooter group in the playground, as part of our golden play rewards system. Bikeability training for our year 6 will start next week and we anticipate an increase in those cycling to school after that.
Finally in July we held a parking awareness competition for pupils and the four best posters were printed as banners which are displayed on the school’s railings and opposite the school. Our neighbours have responded positively and they have taken part in online discussions about the impact of the campaign. We will continue to monitor the one or two families who are not yet on message, but we have seen an incredible reduction in problem parking so far this term.
Sussex Road School