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Public not convinced staggered school times will ease congestion.

Only ten per cent of people believe introducing staggered school times will make a big difference to road congestion and road safety, according to a survey released yesterday.

Almost 20 per cent reckoned that altering pupils' starting times would actually make things worse on the roads.

The survey followed Government proposals to stagger starting times to minimise the worst effects of the school run.

Based on replies from 1,014 adults nationwide, the survey found:

One third of drivers and 38 per cent of parents, including 42 per cent of parents of children aged 11 or more, felt staggered times would either make no difference whatsoever or could actually make things worse;

Thirty six per cent believed that the introduction of speed cameras around schools would help reduce speeding;

Sixty six per cent felt that speed limits are perceived to be targets to reach, rather than a maximum speed to avoid;

While the Government's new plans may make provision for more lollipop people, 31 per cent of the parents with children under the age of five felt lollipop people were powerless on the roads.

Budget's product development manager Simon Jackson said: 'Currently, around 20 per cent of morning rush hour traffic is accountable to the school run, making it a major contributing factor to Britain's pedestrian casualty rates and responsible for up to 140 child deaths every year.

'We commissioned this research to see whether people felt the suggestions under the Government's new project were realistic. With 38 per cent of schools reporting that parents regularly ignore and park on the zig-zag lines which create blind spots and endanger lives, it shows that, whatever improvements the Government's new plans bring, motorists should be more safety conscious.'
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Title Annotation:Education
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Sep 29, 2003
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