12 February 2021 Transport and roads

Next step for School Streets

Work is beginning this month to build on our School Streets project at three city primaries.

New semi-permanent measures are being installed on roads near the entrances to Downs Junior, Brunswick and St Luke’s primary schools in preparation for the full return of children to the classroom, potentially in March.

All three schools ran successful School Streets schemes in September 2020 to support the safe return of children to the classroom, thanks to the commitment and dedication of local community volunteers.

The School Streets closures aim to improve road safety and air quality outside the city’s schools, as well as enabling physical distancing and promoting sustainable, active travel for school journeys.

The success of the scheme to date means that physical measures are now being trialled to determine which model works best to sustain School Streets over the long term. We’re also working with other schools to assess their suitability for School Streets in the future.

Residents living on or close to these roads have been sent a letter informing them about the measures, which are being installed on a trial basis through an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order, which includes more detail on each scheme.  Residents, parents and the wider community can also comment and give feedback.

The 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.

What are School Streets?

School Streets support the safe movement of children to and from school by creating streets that allow for more walking, cycling or scooting. They reduce congestion around the school gates, improve air quality and encourage active and sustainable travel around the school.

In September 2020, as part of measures to support a safe return to the classroom during the Covid-19 pandemic, School Streets was trialled at nine schools for which we received a lot of positive feedback from parents, school staff and children. 

Read more about School Streets

Amy Heley, Chair of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee said: “We were thrilled to be able to introduce School Streets to the city and see it work very well when children returned after a long break last September.

“Opening up the roads for walking, cycling and scooting means pupils, parents and carers can get to and from school safely while enjoying the benefits of active travel while ensuring access remains for those who need it, including disabled people and Blue Badge holders. I look forward to seeing them in action.

“It’s important we continue to offer sustainable travel options to our residents if we want to reach our goal of reducing toxic emissions and becoming a carbon neutral city by 2030. 
 

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