School wins £500 to set up congestion-busting project

William Alvey pupils can hop aboard the walking bus at Eastgate car park. EMN-170501-171812001
William Alvey pupils can hop aboard the walking bus at Eastgate car park. EMN-170501-171812001

A Sleaford primary school is to benefit from £500 in funding after a public vote to select a scheme to benefit the community and environment.

Two projects submitted bids for cash support from North Kesteven District Council’s sustainability competition which invited individuals, schools, community groups and businesses to send in their project ideas for a chance to win up to £500 and the support of NKDC’s Sustainability Officer to help get their scheme started.

Entries were received from William Alvey School and Anwick Parish Council. The school wants to trial a scheme, called the Eastgate Easing Project, where parents drop off children in Eastgate car park at 8.30am and a member of staff is paid to walk the children to school for 8.40am (giving parents the chance to drop their children off earlier than normal), with the aim of easing congestion for cars, cyclists and pedestrians on Eastgate while cutting vehicle pollution.

William Alvey headteacher Stephen Tapley said they are very excited to have won the £500. He said: “We hope this helps to alleviate some of the traffic problems on Eastgate at drop off time in the mornings.

“The CCTV van will also be in place later this year so it would be sensible for anyone parking along Eastgate or Ashfield Road to think about alternatives and the Walking Bus might help here.”

It the scheme takes off the school will continue to fund it. It will operate as a booking system via email to keep track of numbers.

The school has also been proactive and is planning a Pedometer Challenge encouraging children to walk to school, using pedometers and fit watches to prove how many steps they have walked.

Mr Tapley said: “I am very keen to support anything that reduces congestion, ensures the children’s safety and helps promote a healthy way of living. It is a win, win.”

This follows on from the school’s 20:20 Challenge staged last term, inviting pupils to produce 20 differently dated parking receipts from Eastgate car park as evidence of parents keeping away from the school gates and walking in to earn a coveted enamel badge from Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership.

A total of 45 eager children persuaded their parents to park there to earn their badges.

“It is free parking for an hour, so it is perfect,” said Mr Tapley.