A project just completed in Cramlington is set to improve parking issues and alleviate traffic congestion at peak times near Shanklea Primary School.

Parking spaces and a drop-off area have been established at the Masonic Hall near Cramlington Village, at Middle Farm Court.

The school will be advising parents about the new arrangements, which will mean that they will be able to drop off and collect their children from there at the start and end of each school day.

The scheme has been supported by local county councillors Christine Dunbar and Barry Flux – who have both allocated funding for the work through their members local improvement schemes budgets.

A formal letting arrangement has been established with the Masonic Lodge to make a parking area available from Monday to Friday each week during term time for use as a drop off area for students, and also for some staff parking.

Cllr Christine Dunbar, county councillor for the Cramlington Eastfield ward said:  “I am delighted that a solution has been implemented which not only provides a safe dropping off point for pupils but also alleviates traffic problems in nearby Parkside Glade for residents.”

Cllr Barry Flux, county councillor for the Cramlington West ward said:  “I am delighted to work in tandem with Cllr Dunbar to bring some new possible solutions to these issues which I have worked on with residents in Parkside Chase and Parkside Dale for a number of years.”

The parking facility is around 250 metres from the school and can be accessed via a network of footways and cycle paths,  so the arrangements also serve to a encourage healthy approach to travelling to school.

Helen Brown, head teacher at Shanklea Primary School said:  “In partnership with  the community, voluntary and other groups, everyone has gone the extra mile to promote sustainable transport for the journey to school.

“The stakeholders have been inspired to take ownership of their transport issues, whilst encouraging a reduction in car use and increasing the number of children walking, cycling, scooting and taking public transport to school.

“This scheme should help our pupils and parents make positive behaviour changes around travel and alleviate problems surrounding the school run.

“Shanklea students are empowered to become ‘Junior Travel Ambassadors’ and have  pro-actively used their expertise and student voice to initiate community change.

“In response to this project as well as other initiatives we have been involved in, Shanklea school has won regional and national awards by showing an innovative approach to promoting active travel. We are currently Modeshift Gold winners. We are delighted by this achievement  which also enhances the county’s environment and heritage.”

Councillor Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for local services at Northumberland County Council added: “This is a great example of local members supporting a scheme that will help to alleviate congestion outside a school.  We work with schools throughout the county in an attempt to make journeys to and from school safer and healthier – and again, this is an example of a creative solution to local issues.”

This scheme follows other work to improve car parking facilities at Shanklea which were completed over the summer break.  These included new surfacing and marked bays to improve parking facilities for parents and school visitors.

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