CHILDREN donned hi-viz vests to become “Junior PCSOs” and warn motorists about the dangers of inconsiderate parking outside their school.
Russell Scott Primary School pupils, supported by Tameside Council parking enforcement officers, Greater Manchester Police officers and school staff, handed out information leaflets to drivers asking them to park responsibly.
It’s part of the Denton school’s ongoing campaign, backed by Tameside Council and GMP, to tackle problems on neighbouring streets.
A small number of parents have caused issues, including vehicles parked across entrances, on footways, on ‘keep clear’ markings and obstructing crossing points, reducing visibility and parking with engines running.
The initiative has been developed and instigated by the school following a series of meetings with parents concerned about the safety of their children.
Headteacher Steve Marsland has already written to parents and patrolled outside the school in an attempt to alleviate issues.
Assemblies have also taught pupils how to stay safe on the road, the importance of responsible parking and having regard to pedestrians and other road users.
Tameside Council supplied the branded high-viz vests that children wore as they patrolled during the morning drop-offs and afternoon pick-ups and have refreshed Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) lines.
The aim is to make drivers think and act responsibly with enforcement only being used as a last resort. It’s hoped that children handing out warnings, in the style of parking tickets, will shame persistent offenders into changing their behaviour.
Ian Saxon, Director of Operations and Neighbourhoods at Tameside Council, said: “Inconsiderate parking is an issue at most schools. We work with schools and GMP to carry out ongoing awareness raising and enforcement activity, including frequent days of action. We ask motorists to think about where they’re parking and act responsibly to keep others safe.”
The action is also part of the council’s Our Streets campaign, which is bringing the local authority and public together to create a greener, cleaner, safer borough.
Mr Marsland said: “Children's safety is every school's priority and road safety and inconsiderate parking is a problem for most of us. The Junior PCSO scheme we have initiated is giving the children a strong voice and allowing them to take responsibility within their community using their work on pollution and road safety, supported by Tameside Council and GMP, to challenge the mums and dads to be more considerate and encouraging them to walk to school. If it has the positive outcomes that we believe it will the scheme could be rolled out by schools across Tameside.”
The school is continuing with the scheme over the next few weeks and GMP will issue enforcement notices if problems persist. The effectiveness of the initiative will be reviewed after May half term.