Councillors will next week consider the next phase for delivering safe, active and sustainable travel for children in Brighton & Hove.
Members of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee will meet on Tuesday 21 September to consider a report on delivering School Streets to all eligible infant, junior and primary schools, with the first six to be implemented in the next year.
The approach to School Streets, as set out in the report, has been informed by the closures that were introduced in September 2020 to support the safe reopening of schools as part of the council’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The report will recommend to the committee that they approve the delivery of School Streets at six schools per year. The priority schools for a closure in 21/22 will be :
- Queen’s Park Primary School
- Westdene Primary School
- St Mary’s Catholic Primary
- Downs Infant
- Downs Junior
- Hove Junior (Portland Road site)
Schools have been chosen based on criteria including their location, complaints about illegal parking and road safety and involvement in other active travel schemes and activities. More on this can be found in Appendix 2 of the report.
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. They also help remove the issue of double parking and cars idling outside schools.
A number of School Streets schemes were introduced in the city in September 2020 in response to the need for additional space during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Getting a taste for School Streets
Earlier this year, Westdene Primary School took part in a School Streets Taster Day for parents, carers, school staff and local residents to experience School Streets and to give feedback.
Changes to current schemes
The committee will also be asked to agree changes made to current School Street schemes outside St Luke’s, Brunswick Primary schools and St Nicolas CE Primary School
Having listened to comments from residents and key stakeholders, the report recommends removing the permanent road closures and reverting back to a model where closures are only in operation during drop off and pick up times.
At St Nicolas CE Primary School, the timed restrictions on Highlands Road will be made permanent.
Timed restrictions will also remain in place at Downs Infant School and Downs Junior School pending a review of additional measures to support closures at these sites as part of the programme moving forward.
Supporting the health and safety of our children
Amy Heley, chair of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee said: “I’m very pleased to see the School Streets scheme growing and that more children will benefit from a safer route into their classrooms.
“I saw first hand as a School Streets volunteer the difference the scheme can make.
“We are committed to making the lives of children in the city better with safer streets and cleaner air outside their schools.
“Only by making changes like this will we encourage parents, carers and children to choose active and sustainable travel. We’re facing a climate emergency and have to do more to reduce toxic emissions and I look forward to seeing this in action soon.”