A NEW car park for parents has been installed opposite a school following a campaign by safety-conscious students.
The new parking facility aims to improve pupil safety at St Hild’s CE Secondary School, in Hartlepool, as well as stopping parents from being nabbed by the council’s controversial camera car.
The move comes after students Ashleigh Lister, Robyn Harrison, Toni Austwicke and Rebecca Robinson came up with the plan as part of work on a GCSE citizenship module when they were in Year 10 last term.
As well as meeting Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond to discuss the plans, they carried out a survey of 200 Year 8 pupils, the majority of whom supported the idea.
The school says the main aim is to improve road safety after a girl was hit by a car outside the King Oswy Drive site while crossing the road last year.
The former car park opposite the main school building, which hadn’t been used since the former premises was knocked down around six years ago, has now been refurbished and an entrance opened up after work by Hartlepool Borough Council staff.
Mayor Drummond said: “I think the conscientiousness shown by the pupils put a good case forward to use the land.
“They were very concerned about illegal parking happening outside the school especially after one of their friends was hit by a car.
“It made perfect sense to use the piece of old car park that wasn’t being used to try and alleviate the problem and I’m delighted it’s come off.”
School headteacher Colin Reid, who had said he sympathised with parents “to a certain extent now we have got the camera car going round”, said: “I’m very pleased with the response by parents actually using it as it was intended and the road outside the school now, with all the kids dispersing at the end of the day, is almost totally clear, which is fantastic.
“I’m really pleased with the students’ campaign and it is very successful for their portfolio.”
Ashleigh said: “Our ideal outcome was to have a car park built on the unused land opposite St Hild’s School so parents from St Hild’s and St John Vianney’s Primary School could benefit.
“The camera car had began to be a concern for parents when picking their children up from school in case they received a fine and we wanted to prevent this happening.”
Head of citizenship and year team leader Tom Bisset said: “The students are trying to make a difference for the benefit of the school for years to come.”