Galway city Park ‘n’ Stride launched

Children from St Michael's National School, Mervue and Scoil an Linbh Íosa, St Francis Street, helping the Mayor to launch the city's new Park and Stride initiative on Tuesday May 21.

Children from St Michael's National School, Mervue and Scoil an Linbh Íosa, St Francis Street, helping the Mayor to launch the city's new Park and Stride initiative on Tuesday May 21.

The Park ‘n’ Stride initiative was launched this week to deal with the issue of traffic congestion outside city schools.

The aim of the scheme is to encourage parents to park their cars free of charge in one of 16 designated carparks in the city area and to walk the remainder of the journey to school with their children.

The initiative, introduced on Tuesday by the Mayor of Galway city councillor Terry O’ Flaherty, hopes to alleviate the problem of traffic congestion around schools. It also wishes to promote healthier and safer travel to and from the schoolyard. The Park ‘n’ Stride scheme puts the emphasis on physical exercise as a better alternative to driving. The organisers recognise that children who are more active in the morning have more productive levels of concentration and a greater work ethic in the classroom environment.

This week information leaflets will be distributed across the 11 participating schools to more than 4,500 primary school students. The parents of these students who wish to get involved will be provided with a simple registration form. On completion of the form, the parents will be issued with a special sticker to be placed inside the front windshield of the vehicle.

The sticker will allow the parent to park for free in specific carparks across the city for a maximum of one hour during scheduled drop off and collection times. These designated times would be between 8.30am and 9.30am in the morning and between 1pm and 4pm in the afternoon. These parking spaces would also only be available on a ‘first come-first served’ basis.

These carparks can also be used as Drop ‘n’ Hop locations for parents to drop off and collect older children who are capable of independent travel.

The participating schools are as follows: Scoil an Linbh Iosa; Meánscoil Mhuire; Scoil Chroí Iosa; St. Joseph’s Patrician College; Scoil Iognáid; Scoil Fhursa; Scoil Róis; Coláiste Einde; Scoil Einde; Salerno; and St Michaels Boys School.

“This scheme works by encouraging a change in travel behaviour in relation to school drop-offs and pick ups,” said an organiser of the plan. “We are inviting parents who can to register, obtain their sticker, display it, park in a designated carpark, and walk or scoot with their children the remainder of the journey to school. Another element of the scheme that we are very eager to promote is the numerous benefits of physical activity on the school journey such as reduced schoolgate congestion, improved safety, and increased concentration levels in the classroom.”

The scheme is a collaborative effort between Galway City Council, An Taisce Green Schools, the aforementioned local schools, and private businesses.

Full details on the Park'n'Stride scheme including the terms and conditions are available to view or download at www.galwaycity.ie

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