Broomhill Infant School: Sheffield children 'don't feel safe' at drop-off and pick-up times
A pupil was hit by a car last year
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Children at Broomhill Infant School held a protest yesterday, October 12, against dangerous and inconsiderate parking outside their school during drop-off and pick-up times.
Vehicles parking on the pavement despite double yellow lines means the children, aged four to seven, have to step into the road to look between cars before crossing and families with buggies have to walk in the road.
Jane Barnes, Headteacher at the school, said: "I went to the school council meeting, and the children said ‘we don't feel safe crossing the road’. So I said ‘okay, what do you want to do?’, and this is what they decided on.
"It is so unsafe for our children, and it is our own parents, sadly. I speak to them and ask if they will move, and they say ‘that’s fine, we will’, and then the next day they're back doing the same thing."
A pupil was hit by a car at the school on Beech Hill Road last year, but avoided any serious injuries.
Mrs Barnes added: "Thankfully it was minor, and only his leg - I say ‘only his leg’, but it shouldn't have happened at all. To be honest, I'm exasperated with the whole situation. I feel helpless."
The school has been working through the council’s Modeshift Sustainable Travel Accreditation and Recognition Scheme (STARS), hoping the council will put a partial road closure in place during drop-off and pick-up.
The headteacher has ensured locals have been leafletted, speed limit signs are up, safety sessions are held with the children, and an air quality monitor is in place, so the school can go from silver to gold in the scheme, where they would be prioritised for council assistance.
Mrs Barnes added: "I'm doing everything I can, but in the time we are waiting, something serious could happen. Our families are at risk every single day getting into school, and any regulation seems to be taking an inordinately long amount of time."
On Thursday morning, during the protest, there was an "immediate improvement" in safety outside the school.
"People slowed down to park in the usual way and then saw the placards, drove off and stopped elsewhere. But the children can't be there every day, we need people to be more considerate and park somewhere else," said Mrs Barnes.
"I acknowledge that parking is really tricky around here, but we want to encourage people to park five minutes away and then walk in."
A ‘five-minute walk to school’ campaign is being planned by the school, to encourage a safer space during pick-up and drop-off, as well as protecting children’s health from idling engines.