‘The parking can be absolutely horrendous’ -Reaction to idea to stop parents driving children to school

Traffic building up outside a primary school in Norfolk. Picture: Ian Burt

Traffic building up outside a primary school in Norfolk. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Our story on a councillor's idea to ban traffic from outside Norwich schools at peak times of the day has caused debates on the city's streets and on social media.

As reported, the 'innovative approach', which would mean parents could not drive children to the school gates, could be explored in the wake of concerns that exposure to polluted air does long term damage to children's health.

The idea was put forward at a meeting of Norwich City Council by Green city councillor Ben Price, who represents Thorpe Hamlet ward.

It has already sparked a large debate online and this is what people on the streets of Norwich had to say;

• Kelly Gibson, 36, Norwich: 'I think it depends really where the school is and how far people have travelled. At the moment I think there is a problem in that the school my daughter goes to, people travel quite far and there is no parking about.

'So I feel for those people it would be helpful if they could park there. But for other people I agree that they need to stop it as it causes chaos, especially at drop off and peak time.'

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• Jem French, 51, Cringleford: 'I think it's a really good idea. Pollution is a massive problem, particularly with diesel cars and there is evidence that having cars with engines running close to schools is not good for our children's health.'

• Brian Stevens, 67, Kessingland: 'I think it would encourage parents and children to walk more.

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'Where we live it's quite dangerous and I think the police have tried to stop people from parking near the school. People park near the crossings and children run across the road, it can be quite dangerous.'

• John Hopkins, 60, Norwich: 'There is an environmental issue and obviously we want the best for the world our children are brought up in. But I don't think it's practical to ban parking outside a school especially as there may be complications if you are bringing children further to school.'

• Miroslava Beasley, 40. Wymondham: 'It will make it a lot safer for children at school. The parking can be absolutely horrendous, bearing in mind there is plenty car parking close to the school. So I think it would be good if it was completely banned.'

Social media reaction

June Hayward: 'That would be alright if children went to school near their home. These days some of them have travel great distances to get to their designated school. Soon families have children at different schools.'

Pauline Moore: 'I sometimes do three different school runs covering around seven or eight miles but in my town it can take well over an hour. The pollution here is caused by the hold ups with our bridge, sometimes a mile can take 45 minutes from one side of town to the other. It would take nearly three hours, twice a day to cover on foot.'

Tony Farrow: 'In the village where I live, there are countless parents who drive their children to school and many of them live less than half a mile distance. And as soon as a light drizzle starts the numbers double.'

Holly Smith: 'Don't have a choice but to drive as the council put my children in different schools a mile apart and both schools are two miles from our house. If I didn't drive one would be late every day and I wouldn't be able to safely pick them up after school.'

Sion Leshoes Holt: 'I had to walk, bike or bus. Didn't bother me.'

Claire Jemima Yaxley: 'It's a good idea in principle but it wouldn't work. People have to drive to drop their kids off in many cases because they have to get to work, and they can't drop their kids off early because the schools won't let them. Not only that but many parents don't live close enough to walk.'

• What do you think about the idea? Let us know in the comments below.

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