A CAMPAIGN has been launched to make life safer for thousand of Huddersfield children.
Kirklees Green Party is calling for more Safe Routes to School schemes to help reduce traffic congestion.
Clr Derek Hardcastle, a member of the party on Kirkburton Parish Council, is working to provide a new pathway and car park arrangements in Lepton.
He said: "Properly organised, safe `walking bus' schemes are urgently needed to alleviate unacceptable roadside school parking.
"Parking near schools is often so severe it blocks the road and is an accident waiting to happen.
"It also prevents the safe access or passage of emergency vehicles during school drop-off and pick-up times."
Clr Hardcastle said more and more houses were being built, which meant more children for local schools.
"This means the problem can only get worse unless tackled quickly," he added.
Safe Routes to Schools encourage children to walk and cycle to school through a combined package of measures, such as new bridges, footpaths, wider pavements, pedestrian crossings and lower speed limits.
`Walking buses' are set up by parents, who supervise children who walk to school in convoy.
Clr Hardcastle said work on Safe Routes was often left to individual schools and keen parents.
"Kirklees Council should decide on priorities by examining roads in the area of each school and completing an audit of existing routes.
"This is about road safety, but also promotes health and fitness for parents who have time to join in, as well as for children."
Clr David Payne, Kirklees Cabinet member with responsibility for environment and transport, said: "Walking buses depend on a keen group of parents prepared to do it.
"We support this by providing reflective jackets, equipment and assistance. But the day-to-day running of it is down to the parents."
Clr Payne said there were some successful Safe Routes to school already in use.
They include the Spen Valley Greenway, where a railway track has been converted to provide an off-road route to school for children.
But Clr Payne said it was unfeasible for all potential ways to all the schools in Kirklees to be in the Safe Routes scheme.
"I look forward to seeing the Green Party budget proposal," he said.
"We have a budget for it and try the best we can with it.
"If any party says it should be bigger there is a proper process for that."
Clr Payne also wondered what criteria the Green Party proposed to use to prioritise school routes.
"We prioritise on the efficiency of the scheme and not by saying that this school has a greater need than that one," he said.
"All schools have a need."