New scheme to curb school-run congestion in Brent

LRSC Brent school streets

Brent has become the latest borough to close roads around schools at peak times – as part of an 18-month trial.

The new ‘School Streets’ scheme, which is being piloted outside Harlesden Primary School and Wykeham Primary School, will see roads closed to all traffic other than pedestrians and cyclists.

The initiative is designed to ease traffic, improve safety and air quality at peak times – encouraging greater levels of active travel.

Residents who live on the two affected roads, Minet Avenue and Annesley Close can still drive down their road as usual.

Cllr Shama Tatler, Brent Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, highways and planning, said: “Residents, parents and schools have all told us that congestion around schools at the start and end the day is an issue, with people not able to get about, cars stuck idling in traffic, air quality issues being made worse and fears over safety increasing.

“While we continue to work with schools on travel plans, initiatives, physical changes to road layouts and in carrying out enforcement action, the launch of this new scheme is another step in the right direction in taking the car out of the school run.

“We will be monitoring this pilot and are already assessing where else this approach could be used. We need to be doing all we can to encourage active travel to and from schools as well as continuing Brent’s work to improve air quality in the borough.”

Sarah Wawn, headteacher at Harlesden Primary School, said: “We are in full support of this new scheme as it will help improve road safety outside our school. 

“We hope it will encourage more families to walk or cycle to school, improving fitness and therefore reducing air pollution around our school too.”

The pilot will be reviewed after six months and at the end of the eighteen-month pilot, when a decision on its future will be made.

Other boroughs to pilot School Streets include Westminster and Camden – while in May 2019, Hackney Council launched a new guide to help councils across the country introduce schemes.

24 July 2019