Bus scheme to help Bowthorpe school’s parking problems
06:30 07 November 2012
A school plagued by parking problems is hoping a deal cut with a bus firm will finally relieve the pressure at its gates.
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.
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