Parents – How can you help?
Most of our Kent schools now have a “School Travel Plan”, which details how the school plans to address any congestion issues that surround the school premises, any initiatives that they have been involved with relating to the promotion of sustainable travel and it also details any safety concerns that the school identifies for pupils travelling to and from school. Unfortunately, it is becoming very rare that a travel plan is submitted that doesn’t highlight issues surrounding inconsiderate and dangerous parking inside and/or around the school site.
For this reason, the “Responsible Parking” initiative was born! Lots of schools have already downloaded our toolkit and have incorporated this into their Travel Plans and day to day practice; however, to really feel the benefit of this concept, we need to take this further and invite everyone involved in the school run to do their bit to help to make the school environment a safer place…
You can pick and choose what what’s right for you:
If your child is already walking, cycling/scooting or using public transport to get to school then that is great. However, we understand that there are times when driving your child to school can be unavoidable – maybe you live too far away from the school? Perhaps the weather is bad? The school is on your way to work? Or perhaps it just puts your mind at easy knowing that they got to school safely?
Well, here is a list of some ideas that parents have used to help ease congestion, get their kids a little more active and reinforce the responsible parking message:
- Park & Stride: Save yourself the hassle of trying to negotiate all of that crazy “school gates” jam. Arrange a “drop off” or “pick up” zone with your children. This doesn’t have to be miles away from school – it could be a quieter road nearby or even a local store (this way you could get a little shop in too if you wanted – a cheeky treat for self while you wait, anyone?!)
- Put your mind at ease: If you have safety concerns about your child walking or cycling to school on their own, then you can compromise that you will walk with them all or part of the way. This way, you can lead by example; it also gives you the opportunity to talk through those worries that you have with your “little ones” – you never know they might even surprise you with what they already know…?
- Car Share: This option can be a really good solution for combatting congestion and the issue of “responsible parking” around schools; with more children travelling to school in less cars, there could be up to 3 cars less on the road for every “car share”. Your children also get a good chin-wag in before school starts and you know that they have all got to school together on time
- Walk Once a Week: This idea is one of those “does what is says on the tin” suggestions, but for more information, do visit –Walk to School | Living Streets
- Don’t park on the zig-zags: As we’ve already mentioned, of course there will be times when you are driving your child to or from school, but we can’t emphasise enough that parking considerately will greatly increase the safety of children at peak times. Zig-Zag lines at the school entrance, in particular play an essential role in keeping children safe – keeping these clear enables emergency services to access the school premises in case of an incident.
Share your ideas!
If you have more suggestions on how to combat irresponsible parking and create a safer and more sustainable school run, then we would love to hear from you! You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Links to further information