Pupils at St Martin's Primary School have taken the initiative to arrange ‘active travel hubs’ and ‘satellite car parks’ to keep their playground free of cars.
Before lockdown, the playground was used as a carpark at the end of the day, which meant there was little room for bicycles, scooters or emergency vehicles to reach the school. Since March, a nearby field has been used, but this has become too muddy for parking with winter approaching.
Since March, a nearby field has been used, but this is expected to become too muddy for parking with winter approaching.
The children have taken this opportunity to come up with an alternative solution. Pupils wrote to a number of nearby organisations to ask permission for cars to be parked on their land.
Their appeal was met with a lot of support, and the school now has eight ‘active travel hubs’ where parents and carers can park their cars, and walk a short distance to collect their child.
“Following our work on Global Goals, the Rights Squad pupils at St Martin’s saw this as an opportunity to promote active travel,” said Headteacher Cate Mason.
Pictured: Cate Mason, Head Teacher at St Martin's Primary School
“By moving to a satellite system of car parking, the playground will be maintained as a space for families to collect children, for cyclists and pedestrians, and for emergency vehicle access.
“We are very grateful to the local businesses and organisations who have supported this campaign and made it possible to run this trial.”
Extra safety measures have been put in place to ensure the trial doesn’t put pupils at risk. Brehon Accountants has sponsored high-viz jackets to be provided to students, risk assessments have been undertaken and warning signs have been put up in the area.
A small number of parking spaces right outside the school gates have been retained.
The new arrangements will be trialled until the end of term.
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