Sustrans School Streets is a test programme that aims to ease the congestion, poor air quality and road safety concerns that many schools experience during drop-off and pick-up times, by facilitating timed traffic restrictions on the road outside the school gates.
This approach was developed in Italy, and then brought to the UK by Edinburgh, Hackney, Camden and Solihull. It has now been picked up by a number of London boroughs, with School Streets also being known as Healthy School Streets and School Car Free Zones.
Sustrans School Streets celebrates safe streets and promotes active lifestyles amongst children. It brings together children, parents and teachers and offers them a safe space to play and socialise.
Streets around schools are often dominated by idling cars and speeding traffic at drop-off and pick-up times, resulting in air pollution and an environment that is generally unpleasant for walking and cycling.
By demonstrating that closing roads outside schools at drop-off and pick-up times is achievable, measuring the impact and sharing our findings, we are aiming to encourage more regular street closures and inspire more schools to try this approach. Ultimately, we want to affect a permanent change in the way children travel to school.
We are partnering with local authorities and schools that are keen to take action and make it easier for pupils, staff and parents to choose active travel for their journey to school.
Our schools' officers across the UK are providing expert advice and resources to support local authorities, schools and parents to trial temporary school street closures. We will test what is possible, measure the impact of removing traffic around the school's gate and share our learnings with partners.
To raise awareness about this issue, we launched Big Pedal 2019, the largest inter-school cycling, walking and scooting challenge in the UK, by closing the street outside 43 selected schools on 25 March 2019.
Sustrans School Streets is being delivered in association with Playing Out, a not-for-profit national organisation supporting a growing parent-led movement to reclaim children's freedom to play out and use the streets and spaces where they live. Allowing children to play on their own street is good for their health, happiness and sense of belonging in their communities.
As the UK charity behind Big Pedal, we have the experience and expertise to deliver a large-scale street closure event.
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