It’s Your Child Campaign: Pupils battle traffic chaos outside schools in South Yorkshire

Safety campaign is launched after girl is hurt.
Safety campaign is launched after girl is hurt.
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THIS is the chaos faced by pupils as they battle their way through traffic to classes at a Sheffield primary.

Parents parking illegally, children dodging queues of traffic, scrambles for spaces and buses blocking an entrance were among hazards discovered when The Star visited one school as part of our It’s Your Child campaign.

Woodseats Primary, blighted by rush-hour traffic on Chesterfield Road on a daily basis, is typical of schools across the city.

Now the school has thrown its weight behind the campaign after an accident involving one of its pupils.

A girl was involved in a minor traffic collision near to The Dale junction, which governors say is used as a ‘rat run’ by motorists attempting to avoid traffic lights on the main road.

She escaped serious injury - but the traffic chaos which unfolds in front of the school gates as children travel to and from school is a huge cause of concern for staff.

Headteacher Stuart Plaskitt said: “Parking in general is crazy but sometimes parents are using the staff car park to turn around and there is very little space, or they reverse out on to the road. It’s a huge issue.

“To me, the solution is to get parents to walk their children to school - we could have a walking bus.”

The school is one of 20 which has been prioritised by South Yorkshire Police in a crackdown and will be awarded around £2,000 towards improving safety measures, including more double yellow lines, zig zag markings and bollards.

Anita Purcell, of Jordanthorpe, who has a daughter in Year 3, said: “I get the bus in every day and you see parents rushing about trying to grab spaces. They want to be right outside. You worry because sometimes they don’t even look properly as they’re pulling out.”

Karen Oldfield, 43, from Woodseats, who drives eight-year-old son Louis to school every day, said: “It is always a nightmare here. You’re lucky if you get a parking spot. Louis is getting to the age now where he is asking to walk to school or cross the road on his own and I don’t think I could let him.

“Even at the lights you see cars nipping through when they are flashing amber and there’s people trying to cross.”

Wayne Sampson, 44, of Jordanthorpe, has sons Ben, nine, and Max, seven, at the school.

He said: “I think the traffic has got worse here in recent years. The kids know to look out for the green man but there are so many cars about. You’ve got parents trying to pull out of spaces, massive queues and buses all along the road. I think a lollipop man or lady might help.”

Lindsay Rowe, 28, of Norton, transports daughter Erin, seven, and Taylor, four, to Wooadseats Primary by car.

She said: “It is the parking that is the biggest problem. It’s so busy. I don’t think when my children are bigger I’d let them cross the road alone here. My daughter is sensible but some drivers might not be.”

n THE Star is backing the new campaign to make the roads outside our children’s schools safer.

We will visit primaries and juniors during the school run and challenge parents whose parking is putting children in danger.

Our photographers and reporters will be out and about highlighting the extent of the problem. And we will not just be visiting the schools due to benefit from the new project. Tell us which schools are badly affected by parents parking badly and dangerously and we will do our best to investigate.

n Email or ring 0114 276 7676 ext 3354.