Holy Cross Mercy School and the Presentation Monastery are the first in Kerry to take part in a park-and-stride scheme, which encourages parents and children to park the car a distance away and walk to school. An emphasis is being placed on active transport and road safety and it is hoped an added bonus will be a reduction in traffic congestion outside schools in the mornings and afternoons.
Car parks within walking distance have been designated and it is hoped other schools in Kerry will take on similar projects.
The scheme is being promoted by the HSE South, in conjunction with Kerry County Council, Kerry Local Sports Partnership, Killarney Town Council and the gardaí.
Kerry County Council road safety education officer Maria O’Regan explained. “It should increase the daily physical activity levels of pupils, parents and teachers while improving road safety skills and reducing traffic congestion at the school gate.”
HSE health promotion officer Anne Culloty stressed the importance of regular exercise for young people.
“The recommended daily exercise for children is at least one hour per day and 30 minutes per day for adults. We hope the park-and-stride scheme will encourage pupils and parents to become more active in their daily lives,” she said.
“It is very important each pupil is aware of the daily issues they are faced with when walking to school. We hope through this scheme the pupils will become more cautious and responsible when using the roads.”