Ten schools across the borough are set to have special travel schemes made permanent, after being tried out during the last school year.
Ealing Council’s cabinet last week (14 July) approved the permanent implementation of the schemes, known as School Streets. The programme will be delivered over the summer with a view to having them in place as permanent schemes in September, during the autumn term.
A School Street is a designated area around a school with some restrictions on traffic in place at its opening and closing times. In effect, it makes the vicinity around that school a pedestrian and cycle zone.
This helps to achieve a safer, more pleasant and environmentally-friendly experience for children and parents travelling to and from school, as well as pedestrians and cyclists – while maintaining access for residents and businesses within the zone.
It is part of the council’s ongoing commitment to create opportunities for active travel for local people of all ages and tackle the climate crisis by reducing reliance on shorter car journeys.
Councillor Josh Blacker, the council’s cabinet member for healthy lives, said: “Our school streets will make it easier and safer for children and parents to choose to walk, cycle or scoot to school.
“The physical and mental benefits to children are clear for everyone to see, with concentration levels and mental wellbeing boosted by the exercise in the mornings, in particular.”
Councillor Deirdre Costigan, the council’s cabinet member for climate action, added: “The more of us choosing to do the school run this way, the more we will reduce the amount of short car trips being made locally.
“Our school streets have been a huge success with pupils, parents and school staff and I’m delighted we’re making them permanent. The more of us choosing to do the school run this way, the more we will reduce the amount of short car trips being made locally.
“This will help to reduce the levels of dangerous air pollution in the borough. Tackling the climate crisis is one of Ealing’s very top priorities and small steps like this can make a big difference.”
Making a school street permanent involves creating a new, permanent Traffic Regulation Order (TRO). This will replace the Experimental Traffic Order (ETO) used for the trial period. This change requires a requires a three-week consultation period and which is likely to run from 6 September 2021.
The picture shows pupils from Oaklands Primary, one school in the borough that has established a School Street.