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Parents still facing ‘traffic chaos’ on school run

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Parents on the school run are still facing ‘traffic chaos’ despite efforts from headteachers asking them to avoid using the car.

An AA survey showed more than half of parents, 56 per cent, experience traffic problems outside schools at drop off and pick up times.

The AA asked more than 3,000 parents about the efforts they made to reduce the number of cars at the school gate.

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Two fifths said their school actively encourages their pupils to walk to school, while a quarter said there is a school bus service provided.

A fifth also said their school wants their students to cycle into school.

The findings come as the Department for Transport recently revealed half of children usually walk or cycle to school, a level which has remained similar to those in 2002.

AA president Edmund King said: “Getting children out of the house to go to school can be a challenge at the best of times, and that isn’t helped with the numbers of cars outside the school gates.

“Headteachers are trying their best to promote walking, cycling and scooting to school in an effort to reduce the number of cars heading to schools.

“But with the school run coinciding with parents having to get to work, the temptation is there to just stick the kids in the car and drop them off on the way to the office.

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“Just banning drop-off areas in cars means the problem shifts into the next street.

“Asking both kids and parents when and how they might get to school without the car might produce solutions that work for that community.

“While there is no universal solution to the problem, walking and cycling levels have not increased for 15 years, therefore a more collective effort is needed to tackle the issue. Schools may need more storage space for bikes and scooters.

“Local councils should provide more buses and employers should be more flexible to allow parents to walk their children to school.”