20 Sep 2012

Primary school children have been invited to come up with ideas for a new radio commercial to raise awareness of selfish parking outside their schools.

The competition – launched by Cambridgeshire County Council – aims to raise awareness of the problems that thoughtless parking and congestion cause each day at schools across the county.

An attention grabbing commercial based on the winning entry will feature local schoolchildren and will be aired on Heart 103, with the voices of the children speaking directly to everyone who parks inconsiderately near schools.

The competition is open to all primary school children and runs until Friday 26 October.  Entries can be uploaded onto www.heart.co.uk Prizes will be awarded in three categories – school, group and individual.

Prizes for schools include cycle and scooter racks donated by Cyclepods Ltd, the makers of eco-friendly, funky cycle storage. The winning ad will be aired for 4 weeks in January 2013.

The majority of drivers doing the school run park legally and considerately. However, there are a few who think it is acceptable to park on the zig zag lines for a few minutes, blocking the road, reducing pedestrian visibility and endangering children

Schools are one of the worst areas affected as problem parkers often park on the zig zag (school Keep Clear marks) and double yellow lines outside school gates or obstruct the school crossings, making it difficult and dangerous for young pedestrians to cross the road safely.

Councillor David Harty, Cambridgeshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Learning said: “Zig zag lines and parking restrictions are outside our schools for a very good reason. They’re there to keep pupils safe, enabling them to see and be seen before crossing the road.  If you’re not breaking the rules then you have nothing to worry about. But if you are, we make no apologies for working to keep children safe.

“The more cars there are around schools the less parents and carers want their children to walk and cycle to school, creating yet more cars on the school run increasing potentially dangerous traffic. This campaign is a good way of alerting drivers to this important issue.”

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