CHILDREN at Pennine Way Junior Academy in Church Gresley could be encouraged to walk or cycle to school in an attempt to help reduce a build-up of traffic in the area.
Head teacher Richard Mansfield held a meeting with residents, parents and members of South Derbyshire District Council on Tuesday night (February 25) to discuss possible solutions to the ongoing parking problem.
Since Church Gresley Infant and Nursery School in York Road opened in November last year, residents have complained of an increase in traffic, as well as parents waiting to pick up kids blocking their driveways.
Bernadette Chadwick, who lives in Pennine Way said: “The first two weeks after the new school opened, the police were here every day directing traffic. It took me twenty minutes to get to my house because of how many cars were driving up the street.”
Another resident, Carey Smith said: “I’ve had to accommodate my working hours as a result of people blocking my driveway, it became that much of a problem.”
PCSO Kate Bottomley who attended the meeting pointed out that such a situation is deemed as an obstruction and that residents should not hesitate to report anyone found blocking driveways to the non-emergency 101 number.
Mr. Mansfield told the Mail: “We should be encouraging our children walk or cycle to school in this day and age.
“In the summer term we’re running cycle program and hopefully more of our pupils will use their bikes to get to and from school.
“I would like more parents and children to walk, and fewer to drive but unfortunately I can’t enforce that.”
He also pointed out that an improvement to the existing paths could encourage more parents to walk their children to school.
South Derbyshire District Councillor Ben Stuart, who is a parent of a Pennine Way pupil, said: “From my point of view it’s about keeping an eye on the infrastructure and getting people involved in walking and cycling schemes. If the facilities are there, then people will use them.
Other solutions suggested included implementing parking restrictions, however it was acknowledged that this would also affect residents who had visitors outside school hours while covering grassy areas close to the path could encourage further parking problems.
Mr. Mansfield also said he would consider working with infant school head teacher Louise Mansell to bring the closing time of both closer together.