Free parking is available to parents on school runs who are also using the Galway City Council's new ‘Park and Stride’ facilities, involving 22 car parks across Galway city.
Parents/guardians can use a participating car park free of charge, where charges would normally apply, for a short period of time. Designated parking times at participating car parks are one hour maximum between 8am and 9.30am, and one hour maximum, from 1pm to 4.30pm.
Parents and guardians can check the list of participating car parks and schools, via www.galwaycity.ie/ParkandStride, where they can register (registration can also be done via schools ), after which they will be issued with an annual Park and Stride Permit Sticker through their child’s school.
The Permit Sticker should be displayed in the front car windshield when using participating car parks. Permit Stickers are not transferable to other drivers, and parents/guardians must apply for more than one permit if more than one parent/guardian is participating in Park and Stride. Even where a school is not listed on the city council website, a parent/guardian can still participate.
'Traffic is the most common reason cited by parents for not allowing children walk or cycle to school but, ironically, by driving our children to school we contribute to traffic, reducing our children’s safety'
The concept of ‘Park and Stride’ means leaving the car about 10 minutes’ walk from the school gate, and making the last leg of the journey to school on foot. Research shows children who are active on the commute have higher levels of concentration in the classroom, with Park and Stride one of the measures recommended by the HSE for the return to school.
“Regular physical activity is important from an early age to promote good physical and mental health," said Tiarnan McCusker, Green-Schools Travel Officer. "The school journey is a great time to start the habit, even if your family needs to travel by car. 'Park and Stride' can work up 15 to 20 minutes towards the recommended 30 minutes of physical exercise we should do every day.
"Traffic danger is the most common reason cited by parents for not allowing their children to walk or cycle to school but, ironically, by driving our children to school we contribute to traffic, thus reducing our children’s safety.”
The Galway City Council is working in partnership with An Taisce Green-Schools, local businesses, and schools in the city, as part of this scheme. Full details of participating car parks and schools are available from www.galwaycity.ie/ParkandStride