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Green School Runs team launch ‘park and stride’ scheme with help of O2 Centre bosses

PUBLISHED: 14:40 16 September 2020

O2 Car Park Finchley Road NW3. Picture: Polly Hancock

O2 Car Park Finchley Road NW3. Picture: Polly Hancock

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The Green School Runs (GSR) charity is launching a “park and stride” scheme, with the help of the O2 Centre’s management, in an attempt to cut traffic coming into Hampstead during the morning and evening rush hours.

Children help the NW3 Green School Runs team hand out leafets in Hampstead. Picture: NW3GSRChildren help the NW3 Green School Runs team hand out leafets in Hampstead. Picture: NW3GSR

Landsec – which owns the O2 in Finchley Road – has offered the charity 50 free parking spaces from 8-9.30am and 3-4.30pm each day, which will be allocated to parents who sign up.

The idea is to offer an alternative to parents driving all the way to the school gates – particularly for those affected by the soon-to-begin Healthy School Streets zone in Netherhall Gardens, Maresfield Gardens, Nutley Terrace and the southern part of Frognal. The council and Transport for London-backed plan will see roads closed to traffic from 8-9am and 3-4.15pm, Monday to Friday.

GSR, which has worked on a number of initiatives to reduce car-use by parents in the last two years, said it hoped to expand the initial 50 car pilot scheme into other local car parks and set up “walking buses”.

The charity’s Elaine Trimble said: “Park and Stride is a practical solution for getting children safely to school during this very baffling Covid time, when families are unsure about the safety of public transport, and are more likely to drive.”

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Elaine said GSR is a big supporter of ‘school street’ schemes like the one set to begin in South Hampstead.

READ MORE: School run campaigners work with Hampstead schools to monitor air quality

Elaine said GSR was a big supporter of School Street schemes like the one set to begin in South Hampstead.

She said: “[We] are therefore keen to create more options for reaching school safely, thereby setting a new, greener standard for the future.”

Tim Stirling, Landsec’s centre director, said he was “absolutely delighted” to be working with GSR on the scheme, which he called a “fantastic and practical way of helping the local community get to school in a healthy and sustainable way”.

Green School Runs wants to expand the scheme into other car parks around Hampstead, and has been trying to discuss this with the City of London Corporation (CoLC)– which owns the East Heath and Heath Brow car parks among others.

The CoLC has been approached for comment.

To sign up for the scheme, visit greenschoolruns.org/parkandstride


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