FEARS are growing over the safety of children near schools due to heavy traffic and ‘dangerous’ driving.

And as part of Walk to School week, which runs until tomorrow, parents across Swindon are being encouraged to ditch their cars to improve children’s safety and ease the traffic around schools.

A mum who asked not to be named highlighted careless and ‘dangerous’ driving around Pinehurst road zebra crossing near St Mary’s Grove.

She said: “It’s been three times now that traffic has not stopped when I’m watching my 10-year-old attempting to cross.

“I have reported this to my local councillor requesting a proper crossing at this position.”

Ruth Kiddle, from Toothill, added: “I don’t have young children, but I am out on my mobility scooter walking my dog and I see so many of our local children taking risks.

“There are several risks including the risk of a child or parent being hit by a vehicle and the danger for people with prams and mobility scooters who can’t use drop kerbs because of parked cars blocking pavements.”

The borough councillor for Liden, Eldene and Park South, Bazil Solomon, said parents have responded positively to the campaign.

He said: “Parents, grandparents and carers have reported favourably in Liden and neighbouring area.

“Not all children can participate and not all parents have the time in the mornings and after school, but they are prepared to try. It is a change of behaviour.”

But he also highlighted measures that still need to be taken to improve the safety in the area.

He added: “Liden and Eldene Drive and Whitbourne need additional pedestrian crossings at the longer stretches of road and traffic-slowing measures at the bus stops where children try to cross. Residents have raised these issues, which I am pursuing with Swindon Borough Council.

“Car parking at schools is another issue that can be tackled by walking.”

While the Walk to School initiative lasts only a week, Haydonleigh Primary School is doing it every Wednesday.

Travel ambassador Debbie Yockney said: “It is a way for us to promote a healthy lifestyle for the children and ease the traffic around the school.

“Parents can take the time to teach their children about road safety while they walk to school.

“Children are happier and ready to learn when they arrive at the school.”