SCHOOLS in South Gloucestershire have welcomed new measures to encourage parents and children to take healthier methods of travel to and from school.

Primary schools across the area have adopted changes including staggered drop-off and collection times and many schools now have bollards and extra signage to remind parents of social distancing guidelines.

Plans laid out by South Gloucestershire council, aim to improve the air quality for children and local communities and to reduce the risks of transmission of coronavirus.

South Gloucestershire council confirmed the measures are already in place at 28 schools include providing more space for pedestrians and cyclists and encouraging people to switch from cars to more sustainable and healthier methods of travel.

Parking bays have been suspended outside of some schools and to further support this parking fines can now be issued immediately. These replace the previous two minutes observation time.

Executive Head teacher of Abbotswood Primary fully supports the initiative, he said.

“As a school we are fully supportive of South Gloucestershire Councils scheme to prevent parking outside our school during set times.

“It will make the road around our school a safer place and encourage more members of our school community to walk, cycle or scoot to school.

“We believe walking with their friends can improve sociability and communication skills.

“Exercise will make our pupils feel calmer and happier.

“It will improve concentration, making it easier to focus in school.

“Many teachers report that kids who walk and cycle to school are more alert and ready to learn than those who arrive by car.

“The higher levels of happiness, excitement and relaxation on the journey to school will make it an even better place to learn”

Cabinet Member for Planning, Transport and Strategic Environment, Cllr Steve Reade said: “We have been working closely with schools to introduce these essential measures to enable people to safely social distance as our schools begin to reopen and I’ve been pleased by the positive feedback we’ve received.

“These changes will help to keep people safe and to control the spread of COVID-19 which will save lives.

“It has also encouraged the use of more sustainable methods of transport which supports our objective of improving air quality.”