Walking and cycling are among the best ways to get to and from school. By creating school streets the space outside our schools will become much safer for those walking and cycling, and will hopefully encourage more students to get active on their way to and from school. The extra space outside the school gates will also contribute to better air quality.
A range of measures are proposed to improve road safety, such as:
- Improving pedestrian crossing points
- Adding bollards to pavements
- Adding planters
- Providing additional lining and signing
- Raised build-outs
- Installing large school signs with flashing amber lights
- Introducing a 20mph speed limit
School Streets: Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a list of frequently asked questions we have received as part of the School Streets public engagement process. However, if you have a question that hasn’t been answered here please feel free to get in touch via the e-mail address shown at the bottom of the page.
What is a School Street scheme?
A School Street is a scheme to help provide a safe and welcoming space to encourage more children and parents to walk, scoot and cycle to school rather than travel by car. This is achieved by certain roads being closed to through traffic around schools as well as helping schools to provide alternative routes or parking areas, where available.
What are the main benefits of a School Street?
The aim of a School Street is to reduce traffic around schools. This in turn provides a more pedestrian friendly environment for children, parents and local residents to walk, scoot and cycle as well as easier opportunities to cross the road. The calmer environment around the school often encourages more parents to choose to walk which increases exercise and improves health and fitness. Fewer vehicles also means air quality will be improved, many parents/carers arrive early and have their engines running whilst they are waiting, this emits harmful emissions. Bad air quality is harmful to young children, a School Street can help improve air quality.
If I live within a School Street can I still access my house by car, have visitors and receive deliveries?
Yes, all streets will still be accessible by motorised vehicles. As the main aim of this initiative is to prevent school traffic entering certain roads in close proximity to schools, some car journeys may become less direct and take slightly longer than at present. However, School Streets schemes do not remove access for residents or businesses and deliveries can continue to access School Streets as normal.
I am a resident that parks my vehicle on the street, can I still do this? Will I need a permit?
Yes, as a resident you will still be able to park on street in the same way you do now. We are not proposing to introduce a permit scheme for the School Street.
Can cyclists access the School Street?
Yes. One of the main aims of the scheme is to encourage parents and pupils to cycle, scoot or walk.
Some school staff park their cars on the street all day taking up space.
We are already in contact with the schools and this will be one issue we will discuss with them. We want to make sure the school have all the information to hand to help their staff make informed choices about how they travel to school and we will help to encourage as many as possible to travel as sustainably as possible and to support the School Street project.
What about the main roads that border the area? Will they get worse?
Initially some roads bordering the School Street area may see a slight increase in traffic compared to current levels as traffic redirects onto these. However, depending on the journey, people will start to find other alternative routes. We are also identifying locations that would be suitable for Park & Stride, which means anyone who genuinely does need to drive can drive to a car park and walk/scoot or cycle the last bit to the school. Also, by reducing the number of vehicles turning at junctions, traffic may move more smoothly along main roads. More people may begin to walk or cycle for local trips and shorter journeys as they feel this is now a safer and more attractive option. The combined impact of this is that roads bordering the School Street area can also experience benefits from the scheme being introduced.
How will the schemes be monitored?
We will be conducting surveys with parents and children regarding modes of travel which will give us data with regard to changes in travel choices. We will also be undertaking site observations and asking the school and local residents for feedback.
Why do the restrictions have to be in place 24 hours a day? Can they not just be in place at School times?
We want to provide a clear and consistent message. Most schools have altered the beginning and end of the school day with many introducing staggered start and finish times in response to Covid, as such if we introduce timings on the signs they are likely to be out of date in the future. Many schools also have breakfast clubs and after school activities and there are often nurseries linked to the schools who open and close at different times. The main focus of the School Street is to reduce traffic at the beginning and end of the school day but it can also help reduce rat running traffic from an area to enable residents and businesses to enjoy low traffic environments.
Are Taxis able to access the area?
The School Street design allows access by motor vehicle to every residential property and business in the area. We would like all residents and businesses to consider if they can avoid travelling by car during the school drop off and pick up times when the School Street schemes is implemented.
What about emergency vehicles and refuse collections?
Emergency services are informed about any changes to road layouts and can provide input and comments. We ensure that they can update their sat nav systems which are used for responding to emergency situations. The main thing that delays emergency services response times is congestion, so anything that helps to reduce this is beneficial. We also consult with Waste Services on new road layouts and refuse vehicles will still be able to access School Streets.
If I have a Blue Badge can I still get access to the School Street?
Yes Blue Badge holders will be able to access the School Street. Also, we work with the schools to make sure any child that needs to be dropped off close to the school due to certain requirements, is able to continue to do so. By removing most of the traffic, the School Street will make it more accessible for those who really need it.
Who will maintain the planters?
We have a maintenance contract in place with our Parks and Open Spaces team who will mostly be maintaining the planters. However, we would really like the planters to be embraced by the local community and the school and we would like there to be opportunities for pupils and residents to renew the bedding plants or to plant bulbs in the future.
How to get in touch?
We welcome any feedback regarding the schemes, both positive or suggestions for improvements, as well as ideas about what else you would like to see in the future. To get in touch, please email the Road Safety team at email@example.com