Solihull council has begun a pilot project to limit traffic in streets around three schools at peak times, in three areas within the West Midlands borough.
The ‘School Streets’ initiative will see traffic restrictions in place around Haslucks Green Junior School, Marston Green Infant Academy and Oak Cottage Primary School, in a bid to improve air quality as children to travel to and from school, and to improve safety. The scheme began on Monday (4 September) and will run for an initial trial period of up to 18 months.
Over the first six months of the pilot the council will take feedback and make changes if necessary, it has said.
After the trial period the project will be evaluated and the scheme will be made permanent, modified or withdrawn.
Some vehicles, such as the emergency services, will be exempt from the scheme, whilst residents in the streets affected will be issued with permits.
A new permanent 20mph speed limit for all traffic will also be introduced, and the scheme will be enforced under West Midlands Police traffic enforcement powers.
Councillor Ted Richards, Solihull’s cabinet member for transport & highways, said: “We know that most people do drive responsibly, but it can often be chaotic outside schools at drop-off and pick-up times.
“The aim of School Streets is to create a safer and more pleasant environment for everyone around schools. An added bonus will be the healthier and more active lifestyle it will prompt, with more pupils walking, cycling and scooting to school.
“The scheme has already been adopted in Edinburgh with early positive feedback, so we hope it will bring similar benefits to Solihull.â€?
Westminster council has also this week introduced a trial of a 20mph speed restrictions on roads around 38 schools within the borough (see airqualitynews.com story), whilst Croydon also announced details of a plan to enforce ‘car-free’ zones around schools earlier this year (see airqualitynews.com story).