A scheme encouraging parents and children to “park and stride” to King James School in Knaresborough is up and running.
Parents and carers can now park at York Place car park and complete the final five minutes of the journey to school on foot.
The scheme is part of North Yorkshire County Council’s Open Harrogate project to increase sustainable travel and has been set up with support from Harrogate Borough Council, which manages the car park.
At the launch, County Council officers, members of school staff and County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, spoke to parents and students about the benefits of the scheme and distributed information packs containing a school travel map, walking and cycling reflective gear and information about the scheme.
Gail Lee, who has a daughter at the school, said: “The park and stride scheme is an excellent idea, as it helps children to keep fit and safe.”
Cllr Mackenzie said: “The park and stride scheme aims to discourage parking near the school gate at dropping-off and picking-up times and to encourage a short walk to and from school. This helps to reduce congestion around schools and benefits health through daily exercise and improved air quality. I urge parents and carers to take advantage of the scheme. York Place car park is not far from the school, so it’s a short walk, but it could make a big difference.”
Parents and carers can collect a free park and stride parking permit and information pack from the school’s reception. This will allow them to park for free in the car park for up to 20 minutes at dropping-off and picking-up times.
Councillor Phil Ireland, cabinet member for sustainable transport at Harrogate Borough Council and Knaresborough Town Mayor, added: “Walking is not only great for your health and wellbeing, but also helps alleviate some of the congestion around schools. The car park, that is currently being improved, is only a short walk away so I do hope lots of people take full advantage of this incentive.”
Justin Waters, Director of Business Services for King James School, said: “We are pleased to support the park and stride scheme as a measure to reduce the number of vehicles outside school at key times and improve student welfare. We believe the benefits of the scheme will not only improve student safety but enhance learning by incorporating more exercise into the day.”
Open Harrogate is part of the Open North Yorkshire programme, which works with schools, businesses and residents to encourage people to swap their cars for healthier, less congesting transport. The programme focuses on three urban areas, around Harrogate, Scarborough and Skipton, chosen because they offer the greatest potential for shifting to sustainable transport.