'Ban parking outside school gates'

In order to make it safer for children making their way to school there should be a ban on car parking inside playgrounds and around the school gates, campaigners have urged.

As children go back to school this month the national pedestrian charity Living Streets has called for vehicle exclusion zones around schools, to make it safer for youngsters to walk to school.

The number of pupils who travel to school on foot has fallen in the past 10 years to 48%, the charity said. A total of 43% of children are now driven to the school gates.

Parents should be prevented by schools and councils from parking, dropping their children off or waiting in their cars around the school gates, Living Streets said, as pupils return to the classrooms over the next few days for another academic year.

The charity said this would limit the amount of congestion and pollution around schools, and make it safer for children, who wouldn't have to "dash in between moving cars to get to their classrooms".

Tony Armstrong, chief executive of Living Streets, said: "We strongly believe an exclusion zone around schools is worthwhile for many reasons: it stops parents being stuck in congestion but also reduces the potential for collisions around the school gates."

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