School parking robot lands in Maldon

On Tuesday 1 May, a little green robot called 3PR landed at Wentworth Primary School in Maldon. His mission? To eliminate dangerous parking - and pupils, parents, teachers and neighbours are all helping him to do it.

3PR represents the Three Parking Rules: Care, Consideration and Caution, the key principles of a school parking scheme created by the South Essex Parking Partnership (SEPP). The scheme is taking Essex by storm, with eight schools now signed up - Wentworth is the very first 3PR school in Maldon district.

Emblazoned on posters, stickers, banners and badges, the bright cartoon robot delivers a positive message about school parking to children, parents and local residents alike. Leaflets about considerate parking and sustainable transport are given out and a '3PR Zone' is created around the school, which parents are encouraged to avoid entering by car.

Every schoolchild who enters the zone by foot, cycle or scooter gets a 3PR token for the class box. Each week, the class with the most tokens is awarded a cup. At the end of the school year, one class is crowned the 3PR Parking Champions.

A 3PR Zone was created around Wentworth Primary, which is an advisory 'No Parking' zone, and a 'Park and Stride' scheme has also been introduced as a trial until the end of term. Twenty permits are available to parents who wish to park at West Maldon Community Centre and walk in with their children.

The launch was attended by Councillor Henry Bass (Chairman of Maldon District Council), Councillor Ron Pratt (Chairman of SEPP), Councillor Jeanette Stilts (Town Mayor of Maldon), Councillor Flo Shaughnessy, Councillor Mark Head, Councillor Christopher Swain, Karen Bomford (Maldon District Council), David Campbell (Chairman of West Maldon CC) and Russell Dawes (Wentworth Primary School Governor and PR Manager for Maldon District Council).

Councillor Bass said, "I am delighted to have attended the launch of the 3PR trial at Wentworth Primary School. This scheme is an excellent way to reduce the congestion and pollution outside the school, as well as encouraging some healthy exercise. One of the Council's corporate objectives is 'strengthening communities to be safe, active and healthy' and I would like to congratulate Wentworth Primary School and all those who are taking part in this trial and I hope that it proves to be successful."

Dawn Dack, Headteacher at Wentworth Primary School, said, "We are very proud to be part of the scheme. Since we started, we have noticed a reduction in parking along our school road. The pupils are inspired by the tokens that they collect for walking and are competitive to be the highest-scoring class.

"The initiative is making our school safer and our pupils healthier."

Councillor Pratt said, "Bringing together the efforts of schools, families and local residents, 3PR has proven enormously successful in each school where we have introduced it. Although we continue to enforce against inconsiderate and dangerous parking around schools to keep children safe, it is far better if it can be prevented in the first place. By promoting the importance of care, consideration and caution, we are seeing improvements for everyone."

Find out more about 3PR at http://www.schoolparking.org.uk

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