Pupils in Heathfield encourage parents to park considerately

CROSS IN HAND Primary school in Heathfield has introduced a groundbreaking new scheme which aims at persuading people bringing their children to school to park in a nearby free car park.

Parking on kerbs, across drives and out into the road can prevent people getting out of their homes during the busy drop off and collection times.

Deputy head teacher Andrew Best told the Express: “This is all part of topic work for children in year two and we decided to make it more purposeful and relevant this term. We know there are issues about parking nearby as the road is quite narrow and parked cars can make it impossible for people to get out of their houses. So we decided to address parking – it’s perfect for a geography topic.”

As a result children have been doing traffic surveys along Sheepsetting Lane and Mill Road. They’ve been finding out how many cars park in the street and how many in the car park where there are lots of free spaces and suggesting that people park in the free car park in Mill Road.

Andrew said children were asked how parents could be persuaded to put cars in the car park and walk the few hundred yards to school. He explained: “They came up with some bright ideas. They made certificates on their computers and laminated them. Then representatives went down to the car park and handed them to parents congratulating them on parking in the right place. We’re delighted – they handed out 42 certificates to 42 cars.”

The children have also written to East Sussex County Council with various requests, such as double yellow lines along Sheepsetting Lane, a possible new car park and special disabled spaces for any parents or children who need special access.

Andrew explained: “We want this to come from the children themselves, so they send a clear message to their parents or whoever takes them to school that says: ‘I think we should part in Mill Road car park and not outside the school in the road. We’ve had problems in the past with people parking their cars, and even a delivery van right on the pavement. That was very embarrassing as no-one could get past.” He said there has been an excellent response to the campaign with a clearer road, more visibility for traffic and happier parents and children.