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Three more schools will become car-free in Edinburgh

Three more schools in Edinburgh will now become car-free during pick up and drop off times as part of the School Streets scheme. 

The School Streets model originated in London and sees private vehicles banned from streets near to schools during pick-up and drop-off times.

Following the successful pilot of the School Streets scheme at nine primary schools in Edinburgh, a further three schools will now become car-free. 

15 schools applied to be part of the scheme, and after being assessed using the agreed criteria, the streets around Leith, St Mary’s and Gilmerton Primary Schools will be closed to traffic during the morning and the evening.

The Living Streets WOW challenge is helping to encourage active travel by encouraging children to self-report how they get to school every day using an interactive tracker. 

If they travel sustainably once a week then they are rewarded with a badge. 

Lesley Macinnes, Cllr for Transport and Environment said: ‘We’ve seen how beneficial School Streets has been at participating schools over the last few years in encouraging more sustainable forms of transport amongst pupils and reducing the amount of polluting traffic at the school gates.

‘That’s why it’s fantastic to see the iniative spreading to three more schools.

‘I look forward to seeing a new generation of children making healthier travel choices and helping us to achieve our carbon neutral goal as a result.’

Chris Thompson, schools coordinator at Living Streets Scotland said: ‘By closing the immediate streets outside school gates, the council and participating schools are sending a resounding message that walking to school, even for the last few minutes, is incredibly important for the wellbeing of young people.

‘We want to see more children walking to school throughout Scotland and setting in place the habits of a lifetime.’

In related news, a poll by walking and cycling charity in September last year revealed that 90% of parents and residents would back a School Streets scheme in their area.

Photo Credit – Pixabay 

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