Efforts to encourage residents and schools to have their say about tackling parking problems continue, as police patrolled local roads this week.
A new working group made up of local residents and councillors has been set up in Knypersley and its first aim is to survey the local community to find out what people’s priorities are in relation to parking near the schools.
There are concerns about vehicles parking illegally in the areas of Biddulph High School, on Conway Road, James Bateman Middle School on Park Lane, and Knypersley First School on Newpool Road.
On Saturday, Moorlands Police posted that officers had been patrolling roads around local schools due to reports of vehicles being parked illegally and/or obstructing the roads.
“Please be mindful to always park legally and safely,” the post said accompanied by a photograph of a police officer standing outside the high school.
County Coun Keith Flunder, who represents Biddulph South and Endon, is co-chairing the working group with Coun John Redfern, representative for Biddulph South on Staffordshire Moorlands District Council.
Responding to the latest police patrols County Coun Flunder said: “It does prove that the police themselves are concerned about parking near schools and hopefully we can work with the local PCSOs and Staffordshire’s police and crime commissioner on this.”
The highways safety working group will deliver a copy of its survey to each house in the Knypersley area during mid-October and a meeting is planned around a month letter to discuss the responses.
People will be asked to highlight their five priorities and give a description of incidents they have witnessed in relation to parking near schools.
County Coun Flunder said: “It will be a case of finding out what people’s concerns are, and we will be working the schools as well as everyone else.
“We want to see what we can do about encouraging drivers not to park near schools.
“It is something the county council has been trying to do for 40 years.
“One of the priorities we would need to look at is the idling of cars outside schools as people wait to pick up children and the increase in pollution that causes. There are a lot of elements regarding the environment that needs considering.”
He added: “When they were designed and built children walked to school more, more school buses were around, and the catchment area was smaller.
“But more and more children are coming from further away and there is a less of a match up with the bus services available. We are hoping the bus companies that run services to the schools will get involved with us on this.”
Data for 2018, when Biddulph High School’s had 742 students, showed that 53% walked to school, 1% cycled, while 25% travelled by car. Seven% used a dedicated bus service while 4% used “park and stride”.
Staffordshire County Council’s travel to school action plan, said that Biddulph High was an urban school “with a good walking rate”.
It added: “Walking should be encouraged as the preferred method of travelling to school and encouraged as widely as possible.
“For children living further away scooting and cycling should also be encouraged where possible.”
It said: “This action plan should be used to encourage active travel wherever possible and to identify potential park and stride locations for parents who choose to drop pupils off by car”.