Volunteers are continuing to be trained ahead of the School Streets project beginning at 13 city schools this month, supporting safe and active travel back to the classroom for hundreds of children.
Approved in June by the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee the project means temporary timed closures of roads close to schools’ entrances during drop-off and pick-up times, during term time.
School Streets is creating extra space at the school gate, supporting the continuing need to physically distance during the Covid-19 pandemic and is based on the successful work of schools in London.
The road closures will be operated by parent and carer volunteers
Katy Rodda is a parent of a child at St Luke’s Primary School and is one of those volunteering. She said:
“It was great to get the training and I’m really looking forward to being part of the team at our school.
“Children and parents are really looking forward to going back and seeing their friends and teachers. It's been such a long time for many of us. The school street will give us all space to catch up and stay within the school's guidelines.
"Our playgrounds can't be used before school due to Covid-19 restrictions, so using the journey to be active before the day starts makes sense - children need that playtime! Hopefully School Streets will make it more comfortable for everyone to have outdoor time."
Volunteers training at St Luke's Primary
The 13 schools which have been assessed as suitable and have agreed to take part are:
• Brunswick Primary
• Downs Junior
• Downs Infant
• Fairlight Primary
• Hove Junior Portland Road
• Moulsecoomb Primary
• Saltdean Primary
• St Luke's Primary
• St Margaret’s CE Primary
• St Nicolas CE VA Primary
• Stanford Infant
• West Hove Infant - Portland Road
• West Hove Infant - Connaught Annexe
Lead member for Transport Pete West said: “I’m so pleased School Streets is now in Brighton & Hove and I would like to thank all those parent and carer volunteers giving up their time to support such an important project.
“We’ve already seen a lot of positive feedback from parents, carers and children on day one.
“School Streets is working successfully in London and this will support the safe reopening of our schools. Hopefully we will see more schools taking part in the future.
“Active and sustainable travel has short and long term benefits to our health and environment and I would encourage all parents and carers to consider walking, cycling or scooting to school wherever possible.”
The temporary access restrictions will not apply to:
• residents who live on the street;
• Blue Badge holders;
• doctors & care visitors to residents in the street;
• business owners with premises in the street;
• business, school staff, or others accessing on-premises parking;
• emergency services;
• contract school transport;
• businesses making deliveries.
Although the restrictions will not apply in these instances, we ask motorists to drive at walking pace (5mph) if they need to drive through the street during the restricted times.
The project will be reviewed after six months and the traffic order can last for a maximum of 18 months.
We will monitor the impact of the measures and listen to feedback from residents, businesses, parents/carers and the school.