School Streets restart in Hackney as pupils return

Image: Hackney Council

School Streets at 41 primary schools in Hackney are restarting this week, to support children to walk and cycle, improve road safety and promote social distancing as students begin their phased return to the classroom. 

All but nine of the School Streets, which close roads outside school gates at school opening and closing times, were introduced last year on a trial basis under Hackney Council’s plans to rebuild a greener borough in the wake of the pandemic

They are aimed at supporting the 90% of children in Hackney who walk, cycle or take public transport to school to do so safely, and encourage more parents to make the switch to healthier, more active modes of transport. 

While roads inside School Streets zones are closed during the schemes’ hours of operation, certain groups, such as residents and emergency services, are eligible for an exemption. 

Hackney Council says School Streets are proven at reducing pollution at the school gates – pointing to initial results from its pilot School Streets which show a 74% reduction in tailpipe emissions on those streets.

Parents and staff from each school – and residents and businesses around each School Street implemented last year – can have their say online or in writing as schemes are implemented.

Comments will be taken into account before any decision is made on whether or not to make the schemes permanent.

Cllr Mete Coban MBE, cabinet member for transport, Hackney Council, said: “With children returning to school this week, it’s really important that we support them to walk and cycle and help maintain social distancing at the school gates.

“These School Streets are there to do just that, and help protect children from increases in traffic in Hackney over the past ten years, 40% of which passes through the borough without stopping.

“Many of these School Streets have been introduced under the council’s plans to rebuild a greener Hackney in the wake of the pandemic and we really want to hear what people think of them.”

08 March 2021