Coronavirus: council service information and advice

Information about changes to council services as a result of coronavirus

Portsmouth has the highest walk to school rate in the country, with over 70% of our city children walking to school every day.

Portsmouth City Council encourages children to walk or cycle to and from school by offering road safety training and initiatives, such as introducing targeted traffic calming and the creation of safer walking and cycling routes, as well as working with schools to create school travel plans.

Plan your safe route to school on foot with Walkit , or to plan a cycle route check out Cycle Streets. Car drivers may like to take advantage of the council's free child car seat checks.

For more information email  or find us at Transport and Environment, Portsmouth City Council Civic Offices, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, PO1 2NE.

Walking and cycling are healthy, economical and fun. Not only will they give your children the chance to develop their road safety skills, but walking and cycling in numbers adds to everyone’s safety.

Walking and cycling helps keeps you and your child fit, gives you the opportunity to talk to your child and other people, as well as finding out about your local environment.  It is eco-friendly because you are reducing your carbon footprint, but also because fewer cars on the road at peak times means the roads are safer for everyone.

Parents, drivers and other road users are urged to be alert to children outside all schools at opening and closing times, and to be patient when pedestrians are crossing with school crossing patrols.

Portsmouth City Council provides 100 school crossing patrols who work, in all weathers, on busy roads near schools. School crossing patrollers usually work for one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon. Their duty times vary to reflect the needs of the school they serve.

The council is not obliged to provide school crossing services. Responsibility for ensuring the safety of children to and from school is ultimately a parental one. Even where a patrol is provided, parents remain responsible for their children's safety, just as they do when using a zebra or light controlled crossing, for example.

If you do use a car for the school run, please park considerately and safely outside schools, avoiding areas with zigzag markings (see below). Drop off zones are for just that: picking up or dropping off pupils, not for parking. Measures like these all help to make roads around schools safer for everyone, particularly children whose awareness and level of road sense is still developing.

The council paints zigzag 'no stopping' lines outside school entrances to provide a clear space for children to cross where they can see traffic and traffic can see them, without parked vehicles blocking their view. Parking on zigzag lines forces children to cross between parked cars. Crossing from behind parked cars is the most common contributory factor in child pedestrian casualties.

For this reason, community wardens, police community support officers, traffic wardens and the police themselves are all involved in a city-wide initiative to tackle the dangerous practice of parking over zigzag lines. Civil enforcement officers, or traffic wardens, can issue on the spot fines if they find anyone waiting or parking on school zigzag markings, as this is forbidden by law.

Parking or waiting near schools in front of dropped kerbs and driveways, or parking on the pavement all cause problems for local residents, pedestrians and cyclists:

  • parking in front of dropped kerbs blocks cycle paths and the crossing points for people with pushchairs and mobility issues
  • stopping in front of someone's driveway encourages others to do the same. Residents need to leave their driveways to get to and from work
  • parking on the pavement reduces space for pedestrians, especially those with pushchairs or mobility issues, and can force them into the road
  • parking on corners on double yellow lines can block access for emergency vehicles, such as fire engines

If your local school is experiencing problems please contact us.


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