The gang of 12 Parking Busters, who were moved to challenge parents about their inconsiderate parking after a number of ‘near misses’ during school drop-off and pick-up times, hope Ziggy the Zebra will make them think twice.
The committee, made up of two youngsters from each school – Baines Endowed, Manor Beach, Northfold, Royles Brook, Stanah, and Thornton – have already designed their own posters, some of which were made into banners, and filmed their own DVD.
Manor Beach headteacher Jane Mason said: “We have set up a group of children known as the Parking Busters, and we have been targeting parents and other people picking up and dropping off children who stop on zig zag and double yellow lines.
“We have just designed a mascot we hope will be made into toys and an outfit. It’s called Ziggy the Zebra.
“People just ignore the rules. It’s just easier for them. Rather than driving round and finding a space, they just stop and let the children out and drive off again.”
Stanah PE co-ordinator Ted Cooper, one of the teachers supporting the Parking Busters, said: “We’ve decided to use the pupils as the messengers and hopefully it will make people take notice.
“All six schools meet regularly to discuss everything from sports to problems and that’s where this came from. All the school’s had the same problems – children felt unsafe.
“We’ve had a few near misses and even people ignoring the school crossing patrols.
“The children feel that people aren’t listening and they’re worried about what it could take to make people take notice. I think this message is best coming from the children.
“We’ve had PCSOs outside schools and headteachers do go out, reminders are constantly in newsletters too, but it doesn’t seem to have much effect and that’s why it’s now coming from the children.”
School bosses said they have previously considered asking traffic enforcement officers to take action and have even talked about issuing their own ‘parking tickets’ to warn off parents.