Cork school shuts their road to cars to encourage pupils and parents to walk and cycle

Cork school shuts their road to cars to encourage pupils and parents to walk and cycle
Pupils Akina Lucey and Tara McLaughlan taking part in the healthy school streets event outside St Catherine's National School in Bishopstown. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

A Cork primary school is encouraging others to close their streets temporarily to cars to encourage greener transport and more play in local areas.

St Catherine's National School in Bishopstown hosted one of Ireland's first Healthy School Streets which saw the road outside the school closed to cars for two hours on Friday morning.

Pupils taking part in the healthy school streets event outside St Catherine's National School in Bishopstown. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Pupils taking part in the healthy school streets event outside St Catherine's National School in Bishopstown. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

The initiative, which is part of European Mobility Week, aims to reduce traffic gridlock near schools replacing it with a healthy, safe, and playful environment.

Community coaches from Cork Local Sports Partnership and parent volunteers organised running races and giant games on the road while parachute games and a chalk extravaganza took place in the schoolyard.

The Parents Association organised the morning with help from the Cork Local Sports Partnership, Playful Cork City and Cork Healthy Cities.

“We were worried that the road closure would see a line of traffic backed up in the area but that didn’t happen." Picture: Eddie O'Hare
“We were worried that the road closure would see a line of traffic backed up in the area but that didn’t happen." Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Families were encouraged to walk, cycle, scoot, take the bus or park and stride into school on Friday.

“The event was really fantastic,” said Mary Venables, who is on the school’s parents association.

“Parents really embraced the message and took alternative transport to the school like walking, cycling or scooting.

“We were worried that the road closure would see a line of traffic backed up in the area but that didn’t happen,” she added.

Pupils taking part in the healthy school streets event outside St Catherine's National School in Bishopstown. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Pupils taking part in the healthy school streets event outside St Catherine's National School in Bishopstown. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

“It was great to see people embracing the idea of the initiative and travelling to school in different ways.

“The games and activities that were organised were received very well by all the girls and it was great to see them out and about.” Ms Venables said that while the school may not be attempting a project on that scale in the near future, it will continue to encourage outdoor play and greener transport.

She added: “It would be great to see other schools across Cork take on this initiative.

“Some might be ideally located in terms of green areas and road space.”

More in this section

Sponsored Content