Park Safe campaign by Kirkcaldy school pupils

Some of the pupils getting the message across, with help from local traffic wardens. Pic by FPA
Some of the pupils getting the message across, with help from local traffic wardens. Pic by FPA

Strathallan Primary in Kirkcaldy has launched a new campaign to try to reduce serious parking problems outside the school gates.

Park Right aims to tackle the dangerous situation by encouraging more pupils to walk, cycle or scoot to school and avoid taking the car altogether, with an incentive scheme for those achieving a certain amount of points.

They are also asking parents to ‘Park and Stride’ – parking their vehicles a safe distance from the school and walking the little extra distance to keep the streets nearest the school clear from traffic or to Drop and Walk, where children make the last five minutes of their journey on foot or bike.

Car sharing is another measure which is being encouraged to cut congestion in the streets around the school.

The teachers and pupils, who have been helped by Robin Steven, Fife Council’s active travel co-ordinator, hope that their latest endeavours will get through to parents who continually drive their cars as close to the school gates as they can get, often double parking or parking on double yellow lines and jeopardising pupils’ safety.

They are being backed in their efforts by local councillors, including Susan Leslie who says that selfish drivers are putting their own and other children’s safety at risk.

The councillors have supported the scheme with funding for new banners, leaflets and other materials to support the campaign.

A whole school competition was held to design posters and banners which are prominently displayed around the school and its grounds.

And pupils have also taken part in a video based on Blur’s ‘Park Life’ song entitled ‘Park Right’ to dissuade motorists from parking too close to the school. If they do they are left a ‘polite notice’ which looks like a parking ticket.

Amber Lamond from P6 told the Press: “We want to keep all the children safe so we are telling parents to park safe.”

Cohen Bell fro P5 added: “I really enjoyed making the posters and they are all around the school.”

Adam Selbie, P2/3 said: “We all had to dance in the street in the video and make the park right signs.”

Fiona Smart, depute head teacher said: “We want to work with parents to keep our children safe, so we will be advising them and trying to get them on our side.

“We will keep updating the campaign to keep it in people’s minds and hopefully it will have an effect and make people think.”

Councillor Leslie added: “This is a great way to encourage pupils’ physical health and learning, as well as reducing congestion and pollution, and making pupils’ safer on their journey to school.”