SCORES of pupils marched their way into school as part of a park-and-stride campaign.
It was set up by Alverstoke Junior School, in Gosport, to encourage parents to either walk to school or park further away and walk when dropping off their child.
In doing so, the school hopes the roads will be safer for children to cross and traffic congestion will be reduced.
School governor Richard Burton-Baker led the stride into school yesterday morning.
He said: ‘Like many schools, we have a problem with parking on the zig-zag lines, particularly around Tebourba Drive where there is a bend.
‘It makes it impossible for emergency vehicles to get through and for children to cross the road on their own.’
‘We have had some of the pupils come up with a motto for Park-and Stride: rethink your journey - use your feet’
Mr Burton-Baker added: ‘We have worked with the charity Living Streets to produce an audit, so we know which routes are safe to walk to school.’
Volunteers were on hand in the Alverstoke school playground ready to reward the young walkers with a badge after their successful stroll.
And Hampshire County Council’s school travel planning team were there, along with mascot Basil the Bird, who walked with pupils.
School travel planning manager Helen Harris said: ‘This campaign is important to the school because we want to help protect the children, as well as the environment and parking problems.
‘Only last week there was a near-miss with a 10-year-old.
‘All parents have to do is park a couple of roads away.’
One of the teachers dressed as Lord Nelson on the hike, with the rest of the children encouraged to dress in a navy theme.
‘We picked this theme because of our location and Gosport’s links to the navy,’ Mr Burton-Baker said.
‘The children went into an assembly after the walk informing them about the healthy benefits of walking to school.
‘We will only know if we have been successful when we see how many cars are parked down this road in the future, but dozens of children have joined us today with their parents.
‘We have had some of the pupils come up with a motto for park-and-stride: rethink your journey – use your feet.’