After Covid-19 caused delays to the launch, the council had the opportunity to hear from both the children and parents of Arundel Court.
In this time, school drop-off/pick-up points (Northam and Fyning Street) were observed on three occasions. There were also three hands-up surveys with the children about driving to school and access to bikes and scooters. In November 2022, a parental survey took place around the school’s road safety.
The findings led to a one-week road closure trial between 27-31 March 2023. This tied in with the Sustrans Big Walk and Wheel campaign. This national campaign encourages active travel to school by challenging all schools that sign up to compete with prizes to win.
But that’s not all – organisations have been working with the residents and parents to make improvements to Arundel Park. The park has been repainted with playground markings, and all bushes and shrubs have been cut back to ensure safe entrances and paths.
The pupils have been completing the daily mile (walk, jog or run a mile everyday), with benefits observed by the teachers and the pupils themselves. There will also be free practical lunchbox sessions for parents throughout the year and other activities supporting each of the four strands of Portsmouth’s Superzone.
The team aim to report on the Big Walk and Wheel Road closure trials by the end of April. This report will be based on the feedback received from pupils, parents, staff, and residents. The report, alongside additional road observations, will inform decisions on next steps to support active travel.