Published: 6th AUGUST 2019

Sustrans School Streets

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.

Mum walking to school, holding hands with her twin daughters smiling at the camera

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 aim 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.

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.

Working in partnership to deliver school streets

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. 

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.

We are working 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 children deserve better. That's why our ambition is to improve the air quality and safety at the school gate by transforming the school run.

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If you are interested in working with us, please get in touch.

Chris Bennett

Head of Behaviour Change and Engagement at Sustrans