A School Street is a road outside a school with a temporary restriction to motorised traffic at school drop-off and pick-up times, during term times only. The restriction applies to school traffic and through traffic – but, more importantly, not to students/pupils and parents/guardians using ‘active’ travel modes such as Walking, Cycling or Scootering. The result is a safer, healthier, and more pleasant environment at the school entrance.
Why Do We Need School Streets?
Many schools in Kent now have a School Travel Plan, which details how the school proposes to address any travel and congestion issues occurring around the locality of the school premises. It contains initiatives the school is actively pursuing in relation to the promotion of sustainable travel, and it identifies any safety concerns the school has for pupils travelling to and from school. Such plans, for example, might highlight inconsiderate and dangerous parking within and/or immediately outside the school site.
Growing in popularity, School Streets schemes can provide a remedy to many of these problems as they offer a proactive solution for school communities to address poor health, reduce road danger and tackle air pollution. By creating a low traffic environment outside the school gates, schools can then more easily promote a healthier lifestyle and active travel to and from school each day.
‘Healthier – Safer – Cleaner’:
How Do School Streets Work?
Once a school community have worked collaboratively with KCC to identify a suitable School Streets location, work will then begin on the physical introduction of the scheme itself.
Initially, School Streets schemes will be implemented on a trial basis, with the possibility of an individual site becoming permanent should they be found to be successful.
As part of the School Streets Scheme, road closures will be enforced with temporary barriers operated by qualified Traffic Management Coordinators. Access for residents, buses, emergency services and essential deliveries will be maintained and, where appropriate, exemption permits issued.
For those who live or park within a School Streets zone we politely request that vehicular movement during School Streets operating times is limited only to necessary journeys wherever possible. If you are a valid permit holder and require access to a School Street during the road closure period, we advise that you drive slowly and carefully within the zone.
For residents living outside of a School Streets zone, we ask that you carefully plan your journeys around schools that have adopted a School Streets scheme and be mindful of the road closure timings. Remember that there will be no through traffic on the road outside a school during these times.
Find out more about whether your school could be suitable for a School Streets scheme.