SIGNS are being made available to schools across Craven to crack down on irresponsible parking.

North Yorkshire County Council's road safety team has bought the signs, which encourage people to park away from school entrances and not block pavements.

The initiative follows concerns about dangerous parking at some sites.

"We have had problems outside primary schools at morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up times," said County Councillor Don Mackenzie, executive member for highways and the authority's 'road safety champion'.

"The congestion can cause a nuisance for residents and other road users and potentially endanger lives, as children cross between parked cars or people have to walk onto the road because a vehicle is obstructing the pavement.

"We hope these signs will help schools that experience a problem to get the message over in a friendly but clear way."

He also urges parents and carers to consider walking their children to school, to help alleviate traffic problems and boost their health.

"We realise that some people have no alternative but to drive their children to school but many are driving short distances where walking is a real option," added County Cllr Mackenzie.

"Even those who have to drive can do their bit by starting their journey five minutes earlier, parking away from the school and walking for part of the journey.

"Many believe that driving their children to school keeps them safe, but each journey increases traffic and congestion, particularly at the school gate.

"Walking can improve overall fitness in children and adults. It is a cheap, low-impact way to exercise and can have a big effect on health issues such as obesity. Walking to school also helps concentration levels in the classroom."

Any school interested in borrowing the signs should e-mail