Schools persuade parents to park and stride

Words and photos by Dave Barry 

Two Scarborough schools are slowly winning a battle to stop parents dropping children off as close as they possibly can.

St Martin’s and Wheatcroft schools, which are side by side on the South Cliff, have been facing growing dangers from huge volumes of vehicles converging on their cul-de-sac all at once.

The schools recently mounted a four-day campaign aimed at persuading parents to park and stride to school, to help alleviate traffic congestion on Holbeck Hill.

Parents have been asked to park their vehicles in the council carpark at Holbeck, which is free. It takes about five minutes to walk from there to the schools, via Wheatcroft Avenue.

The county council’s road-safety team, the police and the fire service teamed up for the exercise.

Each morning, children were set a task on road safety. To encourage them to participate, they collected a raffle ticket for every morning they walked to school. Prizes were awarded to winners from both schools. 

The last day of the event was Valentine’s day. Pupils at both schools made Valentine cards for parents who participated, thanking them for getting them and their friends safely to school and helping reduce the amount of traffic around the schools’ entrances.

Mandy Pepworth, the county council’s road-safety and travel awareness officer, said most parents understood and accepted the reasons for the campaign.