Following the school streets trial earlier this year the council is looking to extend the trial period with a view to making it permanent from autumn 2019 and we want your views.
The scheme that was introduced in March 2019, set out to make the journey to school safer for pupils at Immanuel and St Andrew CE Primary School by addressing the rat-running, road safety and parking issues around the school.
After three months and positive feedback from local residents and parents, the council and school consider the trial to have been a success; seeing an increase in walking, cycling and scooting to school, and a reduction in the traffic and congestion in the school’s immediate surroundings.
The trial will come to an end on the 23 July when the school closes for the summer break, however, we are proposing to make the scheme permanent next school term.
What is the proposal?
The way we are proposing to do this is by replacing the barriers with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras at each of the 3 closure points on Northanger Road, at the junction with Westwell Road, Greyhound Lane and Buckleigh Road. These will enforce the Experimental Traffic Management Order and pedestrianised zone. We will aim to replace the barriers with the cameras in October.
What is School Streets?
School Streets are timed road closures around schools, introduced to reduce road danger and create an environment that encourages increased active travel. The road is closed to vehicular traffic for a period of time in the morning and afternoon but remains open to pedestrians and cyclists.
Even in a borough with low car ownership such as Lambeth, roads around schools are often clogged with traffic at the beginning and end of the school day. Limited parking around most schools in the borough means drivers often park in the most dangerous places right outside the school gates, or stop in the middle of the road, putting their own and other children arriving at school at risk; local residents are often inconvenienced and annoyed by inconsiderate parking and poor driving.
In some parts of the borough, increasing amounts of rat running along streets with schools on them increases the safety fears of parents - the resulting environment for those walking, cycling or scooting to school is far from ideal and discourages some families from choosing active means – with a knock-on effect for children’s activity levels, as well as potentially for air quality in the immediate vicinity of the school.
How will the closure work?
The street outside the school becomes a pedestrian and cycle only zone for certain periods in the morning and afternoon; for this trial, the closure will be reinforced by gates operated by the school. An Experimental Traffic Management Order will be put in place by the council to close the road. This means the gates are simply to enforce the order and therefore vehicles moving through the closure at those times even if the gates are not in place will be committing a violation and be subject to enforcement action by the council.
Vehicles are not permitted to enter the street between the times of the closure unless they are a blue badge holder or are an emergency vehicle. Residents will be able to leave the street by car during the closure times. We'll put up advance warning signs to inform drivers of the restrictions well in advance of the entrances to the closed street.