A school plagued by parking problems is hoping a deal cut with a bus firm will finally relieve the pressure at its gates.

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St Michael’s Junior School in Astley Road, Bowthorpe, has come up with a solution with First Buses to reduce the number of parents driving to school to pick up their children.

They have introduced a subsidised travel scheme, so that parents can drop their children off at Roy’s car park in Bowthorpe and then ride the bus in.

Tickets prices will be reduced for pupils, after the school bought tickets in bulk for a reduced price from First.

School governor Rosemary Games said: “For a number of years, parents and staff have been concerned about child safety outside of the school.

“There has also been concern for the residents who are very much affected by the difficulties that arise outside their homes when children are coming to and leaving school.”

The school held meetings with councillors, the police and First to come up with the solution.

Mrs Games added: “Although much work had been done in the past, this was the first time that all parties concerned had come together to hear what it was like from the many different points of view that were expressed.”

And pupils also got involved in the meetings and put their heads together to help solve the problem.

The children formed a group which writes newsletters to parents about how dangerous it is for them to cross the road when it is blocked up with cars.

Mrs Games said some of the pupils had to step into the road, around parked cars to see if traffic was coming.

A spokesman for First said: “It is hoped that by doing this, the traffic outside the school gates at the busy drop off and pick up times will become less, making it safer for parents and students.

“The whole scheme is something that First are very pleased to play a part in and we would encourage parents to use the opportunity to use these services and increase the safety that comes with the everyday school run.”

The problem of parking at the school was also highlighted by police in Bowthorpe in their latest newsletter.

Headteacher Helen Newell said: “We are a big school so we are going to get a lot of people pulling up at the end of the day. Parking outside the school is really quite difficult.

“We are not saying it is wrong to use your car, but we are trying to think about it a different way.”

The school is also looking at introducing a “walking bus”, where children would walk to school together and they are also encouraging parents to park further away from the school and then walk in.

•Do you have a story about Bowthorpe for the Evening News? Contact reporter Tom Bristow on 01603772313 or email tom.bristow@archant.co.uk

11 comments

  • By the way - pupils hope there will be "fewer" cars outside their school - not less.

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    Tudor Bushe

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

  • This is a pointless effort to reduce the car overload outside the school, i should know my daughter goes to this school, we walk to and from school everyday and the main problem is not the amount of people who park outside the school its the irresposible drivers who drive up and down the school like idiots park in ridiculous places, they have already tryed using parking wardens who were supposed to stop people parking along the grass verges and on the bend of the junctions but this turned out to be useless as after speaking to them it turns out that they are not actually parking illegally therefore get no ticketfine all they get told is they are advised to park elsewhere not that they have to, the minute drivers found this out they ignored the parking wardens, the local residents problem is people park on the junction corners and in front of their driveways. no one will use the bus service offered by the time you walk most of the way to the school from the cloverhill side of bowthorpe to get to roys carpark you might as well walk the further 2 minutes to get the school also even if it was further i certainly would not put my 9 yr old child on a public bus and hope they arrive at school safely. What they need to do is put up a barrier along the grass verges so people cannot park there, speed bumps along the road to slow down the lunatic drivers who on a daily basis nearly hit children and enforce the rule with the use of police of not parking on the corners of junctions, on double yellow lines and park correctly, if they cannot manage this then they will not stop all the problems created by all the cars outside the school.

    Report this comment

    yaz12342

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

  • @Noah Vale - I agree. If my calculations are correct, the furthest point from St Michael's to the edge of Three Score can't be more than 1.5 miles, which is the distance I used to walk to school each day. Pleased to see there's going to be a 'walking buscrocodile' set up. Also, why can't parents park in the Butts and so leave Astley road free for the buses??

    Report this comment

    Mr Ed

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

  • Noah- I too walked a fair step and bussed and walked to my grammar school, but the school referred to in the article is a junior school and this is not 1974 ! In the 60s season tickets for bus travel and cycling allowances were the norm not something to be begged for. Nor did parents have the guilt of worrying about the threat of abduction or traffic accidents if they let their 7 year old walk alone to school. Times change-I know of one school where children have to prebook and pay a private company for lockers for their coats and bags and which are not always available to all. Some contrast between coat pegs and shoe racks hanging over heating pipes so wet clothes dried out and a wet coat stuffed in a locker all day or carted around in a bag because there are insufficient lockers. Pastoral care has gone to pot in many schools, and getting kids safely to school is part of the care the council should have been thinking about, not having officials whose mind set is such that they think the over grown hedge lined track beds of disused railways provide suitable footways for kids at Reepham and Stalham and use them as an excuse to weasel out of free transport.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

  • The mothers with cars are too lazy to walk little Johnny to school . It would improve the health of both , if they used their legs for once .

    Report this comment

    dragonfly

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

  • Here we go, mothers get the blame again-don't fathers also have a responsibility? Parents work-walking to school and then walking home to fetch the car before work could mean that the child needs to be delivered to school before the permitted time-many schools do not allow children on their grounds before a set time because of supervision requirements.Parents with young children may also have preschool children who would also have to toddle along and who are probably destined for a nursery school somewhere else-should they walk to that too? Now that catchment areas are flexible children can be travelling some distance to school and whilst I might have walked over half a mile to primary school on my own there were few cars and no difficult junctions to cross on my rural route. Small children may be ok on a straight route but do not have the ability to safely cross junctions. The shame here is not on the parents who wish to see their children delivered safely to school but councils which do not recognise that times have changed and provide safe off road cycle and walking routes or dedicated school buses which parents can pay to use and nor do they recognise a need for safe drop off points when schools are built.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

  • This is a pointless effort to reduce the car overload outside the school, i should know my daughter goes to this school, we walk to and from school everyday and the main problem is not the amount of people who park outside the school its the irresposible drivers who drive up and down the school like idiots park in ridiculous places, they have already tryed using parking wardens who were supposed to stop people parking along the grass verges and on the bend of the junctions but this turned out to be useless as after speaking to them it turns out that they are not actually parking illegally therefore get no ticketfine all they get told is they are advised to park elsewhere not that they have to, the minute drivers found this out they ignored the parking wardens, the local residents problem is people park on the junction corners and in front of their driveways. no one will use the bus service offered by the time you walk most of the way to the school from the cloverhill side of bowthorpe to get to roys carpark you might as well walk the further 2 minutes to get the school also even if it was further i certainly would not put my 9 yr old child on a public bus and hope they arrive at school safely. What they need to do is put up a barrier along the grass verges so people cannot park there, speed bumps along the road to slow down the lunatic drivers who on a daily basis nearly hit children and enforce the rule with the use of police of not parking on the corners of junctions, on double yellow lines and park correctly, if they cannot manage this then they will not stop all the problems created by all the cars outside the school.

    Report this comment

    yaz12342

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

  • Other councils around the country use those cars mounted with a google like camera, all the unsuspecting and illegally parked drivers are captured on film, followed by £60 fine in the post a few days later, after a week or two of the fines most drivers stay clear of anywhere near schools.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

  • @ Daisy Roots - times may have changed , but people have changed moreso. Wrapping your kids in cotton wool until they leave school does not prepare them for dealing with this world as they become young adults.They're convinced that everyone & everything represents a threat as they have not learned to form their own judgements in life.Children need to discover for themselves how to evaluate the people & situations that life throws at them in order to prosper & grow in confidence , only then will they be able to make decisions objectively.

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    Tudor Bushe

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

  • Here you are bookworm - another reduction on ticket prices on the buses!

    Report this comment

    biglingers

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

  • I was at C.N.S. grammar school along with over a thousand other boys from 1968 - 1974 , I don't remember more than a dozen kids delivered & collected by car each day, I think they were from the county & had little choice.There were however hundreds of boys who walked or cycled every day.

    Report this comment

    Tudor Bushe

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

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