Still time to have your say on ‘School Streets’ initiative

Published: Thursday, January 30, 2020

Parents of pupils at five local primary schools, plus people living nearby, still have time to submit their views on a set of proposals that could lead to a drastic reduction in traffic driving past school entrances at drop-off and pick-up times.

Share this

How a school street could look

The council is keen to pilot a “School Streets” initiative at the five local primaries, as part of its efforts to encourage safer and healthier travel to and from school, while also helping to boost air quality levels.

The trial scheme would see the roads containing school entrances closed to vehicle traffic when pupils arrive in the mornings and leave in the afternoons.

A public consultation is currently underway into plans to introduce pilot studies at Penwortham, Hillbrook, Alderbrook, Earlsfield and Furzedown primaries.

The consultation, which began earlier this month, continues for just over another week – closing on Friday, February 7.

If the plans were to proceed, residents and businesses who live and work on a School Street would be able to register for an exemption, which would also apply to drivers with Blue Badges. The scheme would not operate in the school holidays or at weekends.

Drivers of non-exempt vehicles who entered a school street during its hours of operation would be issued with a penalty charge notice, based on photographic evidence, while retractable temporary bollards could also be used to prevent vehicles access. However, vehicles already parked in a School Street before the hours of operation came into effect would be able to leave without being penalised or impeded.

The council’s education spokesman Cllr Will Sweet said: “I would encourage as many people as possible to take part in the consultation. There is still time for parents and local residents to tell us what they think.

“We hope their feedback will show support for this pilot scheme as we believe it will create a much safer and healthier environment for children on their journeys to and from these five schools.”

And the council’s cabinet member for transport Cllr Paul Ellis added: “Reducing the impact of vehicle traffic and making the journey to and from school safer for parents and children are key priorities for the council.

“If parents and local residents in any affected streets agree to these trials, there could be a really beneficial impact on air quality levels around these schools. As well as an absence of passing traffic there would be a total reduction in vehicle idling outside school gates, which would be a major benefit to the children.

“What’s important is listening to what local people and parents tell us and if the scheme proceeds, making sure we get the logistics right.”

For more information, please visit the council’s website.