There has been a positive response to the ‘School Streets’ consultation in Croydon, with 70% backing plans to create temporary traffic-free zones outside 10 schools during pick-up and drop-off times.
The proposals follow a successful pilot scheme in the borough that saw temporary zones operating at three Croydon schools, which is claimed led to 250 fewer children travelling to school by car.
To be considered for the School Street scheme schools must be part of the STARS programme, which helps and supports them establish and develop other ways to get to school.
STARS is a London-wide scheme to improve road safety and promote walking, scooting, cycling, public transport and more in an effort to boost sustainable travel.
Cllr Stuart King, cabinet lead for environment and transport said: ‘I’m pleased to new School Street proposals have been so popular.
‘These schemes make the area around a school entrance safer. They have also been shown to encourage parents to walk their children to school, with fewer school run trips as a result. That means less congestion, safer schools and healthier pupils.
‘In total 31 schools have expressed an interest in getting a School Street so the council will be working hard to roll this popular scheme out across the borough as soon as we can.’
Jemima Hartshorn of campaign group Mums for Lungs wrote for Air Quality News last month about the initiative.
‘They have been found to reduce exposure to air pollution, increase road safety and lead to more active travel, which is good for everyone’s health. We want to empower headteachers and parents to create them in as many schools as we can,’ she said.
In related news, a survey undertaken by transport charity Sustrans revealed 63% of teachers would like to see cars and buses banned outside school gates during pick up and drop off times.
The survey asked 840 teachers of both primary and secondary schools a range of questions related to air quality, and also found that 59% want the government to take ‘urgent action’ on air pollution.