Parents in Lichfield and Burntwood are being asked to think of alternative ways to get children to and from school when classes resume in September.

Coronavirus has seen the majority of students learning from home since the crisis began.

But with the Government confirming plans to bring all children back when the new school year returns, education chiefs in Staffordshire are urging parents to consider walking or cycling options for pupils.

Cllr Philip White, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for learning, said reductions in public transport capacity could lead to parking problems outside local schools.

Congestion outside Lichfield schools at drop-off time

“Many children walk or cycle to school already and obviously we want them to continue, because it’s good for them and good for the environment.

“However, we are very worried that the number of people who travel to school by car may increase in the autumn.

“If school run traffic does rise there will be more road congestion, parking problems outside already busy schools and increased air pollution.

“We have already begun working with schools to develop local travel plans where appropriate and we want parents to think if their child can walk or cycle to school – and if that’s not possible look at ideas like ‘park and stride’ where they can be safely dropped off and picked up a little distance from the school rather than at the gates.”

Cllr Philip White, Staffordshire County Council

Cllr White said the council would be working through the summer with headteachers and transport companies regarding travel planning.

But he warned parents that it was “not a return to normality in September”.

“There are 401 schools in Staffordshire, with 800 home to school transport routes moving 8,000 pupils-– it’s a huge operation and then you have tens of thousands more journeys to add in.

“We hope that schools and their communities can work together to reduce the number of cars at school gates and the council will support them as much as we can.

“We are keeping the situation under review and will update parents as the situation changes, but it’s essential that parents start planning ahead because it is not a return to normality in September.”

Cllr Philip White, Staffordshire County Council

Ross

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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4 Comments

  1. Such an important issue, especially for city and small village schools and as we all work towards a greener environment. Us at our school (pre pandemic) have been using the We Are Fetching app. It has reduced traffic around our school by quite a bit and looks like it will help further improve in the autumn and winter.

  2. Remember when kids used to walk to school…..

    Rugeley road and church road in Burntwood is a nightmare getting out in the mornings because of parents parking all the way up the hill.

    I’d report them for causing a traffic obstruction but we all know how helpful the police round here are

  3. @Mike. From memory. Didn’t they conduct a traffic survey one August, to show that there was adequate capacity?

    I may be wrong.

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