Staff and Governors at St. Luke’s Church of England Primary School in Sway have always been committed to doing something about the traffic congestion around the school at drop off and pick up times. With the safety of children and adults paramount, a committee was formed in 2015 to look at how this could be achieved. The committee comprised of staff, a Governor, local residents, our local PCSO, our HCC councillor and Chair of the Parish Council.
We were joined by the HCC travel organiser who suggested signing up to Modeshift Stars (Sustainable Travel Accreditation and Recognition); this National schools award scheme was established to recognise schools that have demonstrated excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable travel. Modeshift Stars aims to improve the health and wellbeing of young people. At the time, 13,000 schools had already signed up nationally.
Over a two year period, the school introduced many initiatives and was recognised by the Modeshift organisation having first achieved the Bronze award, worked through the Silver award and finally awarded the Gold Award in 2017. To have reached this level in only two years was fantastic and St. Luke’s was only one of 5 Hampshire schools to achieve the Gold Award.
The school continues to be involved in many initiatives to help improve the congestion issues in Sway. Initiatives to date have included surveys of children, staff, parents, local residents reviewing traffic and people movements.
Using information from surveys, actions plans have included initiatives to address the concerns, including
Walk to school weeks
Bling your Bikes and Scooters to School events
A Bikers Breakfast
Scooter in the boot and cycle training
Designated parking areas away from the school with the help of local businesses; we have had positive local support from a number of local businesses who have been very helpful in providing parking spaces during the peak times from where parents can walk to school with their children. Sway also has a large area to park (Jubilee Field) about 5 minutes walk from the school and we are always keen to work with the Council to see how the journey from there can be made safer. A number of parents regularly use this facility.
New parking cones and warning signage was installed outside the school and this has raised awareness.
Pupils are encouraged to study the benefits of walking, cycling and scootering to school both from a clean air and fitness perspective.
Our Junior Road Safety Officers (pupils) talk to the other children and parents to keep the safety message current.
The journey is one that continues and as a school, we continue to look for new ideas to improve the congestion issues around St. Luke’s, keeping children safe and endeavouring at the same time to help local residents.
We continue to work hard on our school travel plan to ensure children's safety and promote safer and healthier ways to travel to school at the start and end of the school day.
In order to make the school a safer place and achieve this, we ask that parents/carers consider the following:
Parking on the pavement can obstruct and seriously inconvenience pedestrians, people in wheelchairs or with visual impairments and people with prams or pushchairs. Please adhere to this guidance.
Every year, we take part in 'Walktober'. In previous years, children walking from the Jubilee Field to school have been greeted by Basil Bird. Through events like these and reminders regularly featured in Parent Newsletters, we encourage parents to help make our school run safer and healthier by joining the families who are already walking, scooting and cycling to school every day. We have lots of cycling storage; cycling/walking makes a really healthy start to the day, cuts down on congestion outside of the school and improves the air quality.
In particular, we really want to reduce the numbers of cars on Westbeams and Church Lane.
Our Park and Stride Scheme encourages all families to make use of the park and stride facilities at the Jubilee Fields and the Manor at Sway. We thank the Parish Council and the Manor at Sway for fully supporting this scheme.
Drivers: If you must drive to school, please make use of one of the designated ‘Park and Stride’ car parks and walk from there. This will make the journey to and from school so much safer for everyone. Lots of car parking space is available at the Jubilee Field car park, 6 spaces are available at the Manor at Sway. Please note , that if you would like to make use of the spaces available at the Manor at Sway, a parking permit (available from the school office) will be required. These will be issued on a first come first served basis.
NEVER park on, or opposite, the zig zag markings or on yellow lines, speed humps, near junctions and driveways or reverse into spaces if you can’t see clearly behind you – there might be a child.