The vast majority of parents are unsatisfied with how their child’s school is dealing with traffic at peak times, with more than half reporting ‘chaos’, a new survey suggests.
The survey was carried out by the AA, who canvassed the views of more than 3,000 parents about the efforts made to reduce the number of cars at the school gate.
Most respondents (91%) said there isn’t an effective school traffic management plan in place at the beginning and end of the day – while 56% reported ‘chaos’ at these times.
In terms of active travel, 42% of parents say their school actively encourages pupils to walk to school – a figure which drops to 20% when it comes to cycling.
To help parents ‘defeat the school run traffic’, the AA has created a new video, providing top tips and advice, as well as answering questions such as:
- Do schools have their own speed limits?
- Could using cars during the school run be banned over concerns about air pollution?
Edmund King, AA president, said: “The best travel plans are made by the pupils themselves as they can convince their parents what is best for them and the school.
“Just banning drop-off areas in cars means the problem shifts into the next street. Asking both kids and parents when and how they might get to school without the car might produce solutions that work for that community.
“While there is no universal solution to the problem, walking and cycling levels have not increased for 15 years, therefore a more collective effort is needed to tackle the issue.
“Schools may need more storage space for bikes and scooters. Local councils should provide more buses and employers should be more flexible to allow parents to walk their children to school.”
Steve Horton, Road Safety GB’s director of communications, said: “Congestion outside many schools at peak times is nothing new, although with the general trend for increased traffic the challenges it causes seem to increase annually.
“This congestion adds to the complexity of the situation which makes it more obvious to drivers that they are in a higher risk area.
“This clear complexity means most road users negotiate the area with an enhanced level of concentration and hence the amount of serious crashes around schools is thankfully low.
“However, a product of reducing congestion and traffic flows outside schools is increased perceptions of safety and creating a nicer, calmer environment that encourages more people to walk and cycle.
“Of course most of the difficulties outside schools caused by inconsiderate drivers is actually caused by the very group that has to deal with the complex situation; parents.
“So parents can influence greatly the risk to children that many of them create, as well as do their own children the huge benefit of letting them walk or cycle to school in a supervised way so that they can gain vital experience in dealing with a range of road traffic.”