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Donna Evans & Ellise Porter (Active travel coordinators for Heath Hayes Academy); Helen Fisher (cabinet member for transport and highways at Staffordshire County Council); Sally Collins (parent) and pupils Hallie Evans and Emily Thacker

New park and stride scheme gets pupils active

Almost 100 pupils at Heath Hayes Primary Academy in Cannock are putting their best foot forward in a new ‘park and stride’ scheme to get to school.

A park and stride scheme is where parents park up in an agreed safe place not far from the school and with the pupils all walk in together.  The scheme helps keep children and parents active and helps to keep traffic away from the school gate making it safer for everyone.

Parents and Pupils meet up at the car park on Wimblebury Road before making the 5 minute walk to school each morning.

The new park and stride launched on 9 November and there are already plans to improve the paths and access to the car park which will make it even easier and safer for pupils to use.

Helen Fisher, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport at Staffordshire County Council said:

“We’ve been working closely with schools over the last few years to encourage more parents and their children to walk, cycle or even scoot to school.

“It’s great to see the school’s park and stride scheme up and running.  Walking or even scooting or cycling to school has so many benefits for the community and it’s something we are keen to see more of.  Not only does it help to keep parents and children fit and healthy, but it also helps to reduce air pollution and congestion outside our busy schools too.”

Donna Evans, Active travel coordinator at the school said:

“We are really delighted with the response we have had from our parents and carers. The Park and Stride campaign has been a real success and is so important in regards to our children’s safety when travelling to school. We are also pleased that the school is playing its part in helping to improve air quality in the area and within the local community.”

Sally Collins, a parent who uses the park and stride said:

“The scheme is great and helps get my daughter up and moving before school”

Shana Hooper, another parent added:

“The park and stride scheme is a really good idea  and we love it, it keeps my boys safe, and they love to look out for the purple ribbons as they walk”

Staffordshire continues to lead the way when it comes to encouraging more parents and children to actively travel to school with over 60 Walking Buses and more than 60 park and stride schemes now across the county.

Large group of people

Pupils and parents of Heath Hayes Academy gather for Park & Stride

Scooter training, Bikeability and the Staffordshire STARS project working with schools are all helping to improve physical health, air quality and easing congestion outside school gates.

The school is also working closely with the County Council on an Air Quality Project looking to reduce levels of pollution around the school and the local area.  Evidence shows that children travelling to school via cars will be exposed to double the levels of air pollution that children travelling sustainably will experience.

You can find out more about walking cycling or scooting to school at https://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/transport/Stafford/home.aspx