Smart working means safer travel for Harold Wood pupils

Published: Wednesday, 23 January 2019

A joint effort between Havering Council and Harold Wood Primary School, has seen new measures put in place around the school to improve pupils’ safety.

The Harold Wood park car park next to the school in Recreation Avenue, was frequently used by parents and carers, dropping off pupils in the morning and afternoon.

The full car park often caused congestion - with drivers on the school run queuing outside, blocking the car park entrance or parking dangerously at nearby junctions.

After discussions between the Council and the school, it was agreed from Monday 4 February, the car park will be closed during term time until 3.45pm each day. Outside of term time, the car park will be open at the usual times.

Parking will still be available at the other side of the park, accessible from Harold View.

Councillor Osman Dervish, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “This is a great example of the Council and one of our local schools working together in a joint effort to keep our pupils safe.

“It’s everyone’s responsibility to help us increase safety in and around our schools. That includes thinking about where we park, being extra vigilant when driving at busy times and not leaving engines running, which affects the quality of air around us.”

The Council’s smarter travel team work with schools across the borough under the TfL STARS accreditation scheme.

This includes offering support and guidance on activities and projects that encourage different ways of travelling, from walking, cycling or using scooters to school.

They help provide programmes such as cycle training and promoting healthy and active lifestyles.

One of these includes schools enjoying visits from the Council’s clean air champion and mascot, Miles the Mole, to learn about what they can do to help improve the quality of air around them.

Alison Dowding, Headteacher, Harold Wood Primary School, said: “

“Here at Harold Wood Primary School, we have worked hard to be awarded gold accreditation for our school travel plan. This includes working with the Council’s smarter travel team to proactively encourage pupils to cycle, scooter or walk as much as possible on a daily basis to and from school.

“Some of our pupils are also junior travel ambassadors who help their fellow classmates be aware of road safety. 

“With the closure of the car park during term time, we can look to help our pupils travel to and from school as safely as possible."