Nationwide blueprint to implement ‘School Streets’

LRSC Hackney School Streets

Hackney Council has launched a new guide to help councils across the country introduce School Streets – which ban motor traffic outside schools at opening and closing times.

School Streets, which have been running in Hackney since 2017, aim to improve air quality at the school gates and make it easier for children to walk and cycle to school.

There are five School Streets currently in operation in Hackney – and the council says since they were launched, the proportion of children cycling to participating schools has increased by more than 50%.

Meanwhile, traffic outside the schools has reduced by approximately two-thirds.

The free guide, known as the School Streets toolkit, was launched on 16 May to support councils nationwide to launch their own schemes.

The guide uses the borough’s experience in implementing School Streets to take other local authorities step-by-step through the process.

Cllr Feryal Demirci, deputy mayor of Hackney, said: “Our pioneering School Streets have been incredibly successful so far, with widespread support from children, parents, teachers and local people.

“They also go so much further than simply banning idling at schools – they tackle poor air quality, make the streets outside schools places for everyone, and tackle the obesity crisis by making it easier for kids to walk or cycle to school.

“We’ve had lots of interest in School Streets from as far afield as Toronto and Singapore and feel that we have a duty to share our new toolkit with councils nationwide, as we want to see schools transformed and the school-run become a thing of the past.”

Two more School Streets are set to launch in Hacking in the coming weeks and the council has plans to implement 17 by 2022 – covering around a third of primary schools in the borough.

20 May 2019