We all want our children to grow up strong, fit and healthy. We want our children to be independent and confident. Children are increasingly being driven to school. This creates serious issues on our roads and around our schools. We have traffic chaos, increased road danger, worse pollution, reduced physical activity and a lack of awareness of the local environment.
Sustrans have been working organisations such as Playing Out and regional local authorities to deliver school streets. These are a series of road closures outside of schools at the start and end of the school day. This creates a safer, quieter environment around the school. It reduces carbon emissions and increases physical activity. It improves relationships between schools and the local community.
Most councillors will tell you that school parking in their community is a real problem. This initiative goes part of the way to reducing this problem.
The projects are coordinated for Sustrans by Hannah Ziolek (Nottingham) [email protected], [email protected] (Leicester), [email protected] (Derby) and [email protected] (Lincoln).
Most drivers notice the difference during the school holidays around congestion and the time it takes to drive to work. 20% of cars on the road at 8:30pm are taking children to school. Working with the local authority we identified those schools with the greatest reported issues around parking. We then made sure the school was on board with developing initiatives to the problem.
We have then worked with staff, parents, students and local residents to come up with solutions for that school. This can be physical barriers across the whole road, part of the road, temporary barriers like cones and signs and parking restriction or permits. Communication is vital with all those affected. Listening to concerns and developing appropriate solutions is vital.
The key is getting staff or the community to take on supporting the scheme. The results create safe spaces for parents and students to gather. It cuts down on pollution, improves safety and cuts carbon emissions.
Funding can come from the local authority. Some areas have budgets set aside for community initiatives. Schemes with temporary barriers can use volunteers but paying people often school support staff can be successful.
We are delivering successful schemes in Nottingham, Leicester, Derby and Lincoln. Most local authorities are delivering school street schemes of some sort. School streets are supported by The Department of Transport.
Percentage reduction in car journeys to school.
Carbon emissions savings.