Consultation launched on car-free streets to make the school-run safer
Residents’ are being asked to have their say on plans to introduce safer streets around schools in Havering from September.
As lockdown continues to gradually ease and the Council seeks to improve safety for residents, the new School Streets scheme would introduce pedestrian areas around 18 of the borough’s schools at set times of the day in a bid to reduce traffic and improve safety and air quality.
The scheme will also help with new plans that have been set out for social distancing, allowing pupils to return safely to schools in the autumn.
Instead, parents and pupils would be encouraged to leave their cars at home and walk or cycle to school, where possible.
The scheme, which would be run for the first time in the borough, is part of the School Streets initiative by Transport for London (TfL) to convert the area outside schools to walking and cycling only.
TfL has provided £220,000 to fund the project and if additional money is approved, a further 39 Havering schools could also have School Streets.
Councillor Osman Dervish, Havering’s Cabinet Member for Environment, said:
“As we continue to recover from the pandemic, it’s an opportunity to introduce a scheme that will also help to reduce pollution caused from engines running and improve the community’s overall health and wellbeing.
“We want to see an end to cars causing pollution and safety issues in streets around the school gates. Instead, we’re encouraging children and parents to walk or cycle to school to help improve safety and congestion outside schools.
“We really want to hear from residents – so please complete the questionnaire to help us make the best decisions to ensure a safer school-run.”
Although parents won’t be able to use their cars, residents living in the affected streets will still be able to access the roads and be able to register for an exemption to the scheme so they aren’t at risk of a penalty.
However, anyone else trying to access the road during the restricted times, which could be up to an hour and a half in the morning and again in the afternoon, will be subject to a fine.
To ensure that parents comply with the new scheme, signposts would be put in place and schools would have a number of cameras to capture anyone breaking the new rules.
The scheme would replace the existing Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) project around four schools, which has now expired and are no longer enforceable. PSPOs were also a more costly scheme to run.
If given the go-ahead, School Streets would initially run for nine months and a decision on whether the scheme would become permanent will be made following the trial.
The schools included in phase one of the Havering Schools Streets scheme are:
- Branfil Primary School
- Clockhouse Primary School
- Concordia Academy
- Drapers' Academy
- Drapers' Mayland Primary School
- Drapers' Pyrgo Priory School
- Engayne Primary School
- Lime Academy Forest Approach
- Harrow Lodge Primary School
- Hylands Primary School
- Mead Primary School
- Oasis Academy Pinewood
- Parsonage Farm Primary School
- Squirrels Heath Infant School
- Squirrels Heath Junior School
- The James Oglethorpe Primary School
- Towers Federation - Towers Infant
- Towers Federation - Towers Junior
The consultation runs until 9 August 2020.