CHILDREN in Cumnor took to the streets to urge parents to park safely on the school run.

Pupils at Cumnor Primary School have been investigating the issue after a survey found one in four of them had experienced a near-miss in the road outside the school.

And they decided that parents parking on pavements and zig-zag lines were causing the safety problems in Oxford Road.

To hammer their message home, they made special banners and staged a protest at school closing time, backed up by a letter that was sent home to their parents.

William Ayres, nine, told parents: “Don’t park here, because it’s dangerous for us and people don’t look out for children crossing the road.”

Rory Campbell-Smith, 10, added: “We have made posters and we have been meeting staff and trying to stop people parking here. It’s difficult to cross.”

The school’s travel and road safety group worked with police and the county council road safety team.

Headteacher Heather Broom said there was no excuse for parents parking near the gates as the Vine pub, a three-minute walk away, allowed parents to use its car park to drop off and pick up children.

She added: “We haven’t had a serious accident but 25 per cent of children said they had had a near-miss.

“We get a lot of parents saying ‘good, you’re trying to do something about it’. But there are reluctant ones, who need to change.

“We do understand there are time pressures but if it’s a matter of leaving five minutes earlier, then that’s the way to do it.”

Mrs Broom said the issue had been raised in school newsletters but the message was more powerful if it came direct from pupils.

Parent Teresa Haynes said: “You can’t see anything coming because of parked cars.

“Parents should listen to what the children are saying.”

Police community support officer Lisa Prim, who has visited the school to work with children on the project, said: “If someone is blocking the path, they will get a fixed penalty ticket but we try to go down the education route.”