A Gosport primary school has launched a new initiative to reduce congestion outside its school gates.
Strider, the big orange foot mascot of Living Streets, has visited Alverstoke Junior School to encourage pupils to walk, cycle or scoot at least part of their journey to school.
The Avenue and Tebourba Drive are particular problem areas. Residents are complaining that they cannot get in and out of their driveways and parked cars restrict the school crossing patrol’s sightlines up and down the Avenue.
Apart from the resulting dangers to pupils and the public caused by excessive traffic trying to park close to the school, this traffic can also disrupt emergency access to the school and to neighbouring properties.
School governor Richard Baker-Jones said: ‘We live in an area where walking is not a problem. There are a number of quiet roads near to the school where cars can easily be parked whilst parents and pupils walk the last half-mile or so.
‘Many of our pupils already walk, scoot or cycle from their homes but we recognise that many cannot. Park and Stride is aimed at those that live further away with a simple initiative – park away from the school and walk the last part.’
Living Streets is the charity that promotes walking to school. To encourage and support the school, it has worked with pupils to provide the web-based Travel Tracker, enabling pupils to record their method of travel each day.
A different Strider badge can be earned each month by those that walk to school at least once a week.
Living Streets local co-ordinator Amy Hartnell said: ‘Walking is the most reliable, easy and healthy mode of travel, yet as a nation walking rates are in decline with damaging consequences for our children’s future.
‘I am very happy to be working with Alverstoke Junior School to help audit school walking routes and identify suitable Park and Stride areas so all pupils have the opportunity to walk at least part of the way to school.’