Keeping the School Gates Clear
With the new school year now well underway, Torfaen County Borough Council is encouraging safe behaviour around the school gates by highlighting solutions to ease congestion and improve safety.
Many parents believe that driving their children to school keeps them safe, but each journey increases traffic and congestion. It's understandable that some parents and carers have no alternative but to drive their children to school, however many are driving short distances where walking is a real option.
Even those who have to drive can do their bit by starting their journey five minutes earlier, parking away from the school and walking for part of the journey. Also it is now known that air pollution inside the car is generally higher than that experienced by pedestrians in the street.
Walking can improve fitness, it's cheap, and a low-impact way to exercise which can have a big impact on health issues such as obesity. Walking to school also helps concentration levels in the classroom.
Fiona Cross, executive member for the environment, said, “We know a lot of schools have parking problems during the morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up times, which is why we are encouraging parents to consider how they make their school run - and walk or cycle if possible. If that isn’t an option, it would help if you park a little further away than usual.
“The extra congestion can cause a nuisance for residents, other road users, and it can endanger lives as children cross between parked cars or people have to walk onto the road because a vehicle is obstructing the pavement. Walking also helps reduce our environmental impact and reduces air pollution.
“Our new enforcement officers will at some point be visiting all schools in the area to help educate people dropping off/picking up children about the dangers of illegally parking. Therefore, I would just like to remind residents that the aim of the officers is to educate people and not issue fines unless it’s absolutely necessary.
“We hope residents support the officers in their quest to keep the schools gates clear and safe and treat them accordingly.”
To find out more about civil parking visit www.torfaen.gov.uk/cpe