Further pilot schemes aimed at reducing traffic congestion outside schools and encouraging active travel is to be rolled out across the East Riding.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council is to carry out further trials of the initiative called School Streets outside Pocklington Infant and St Mary & St Joseph RC primary schools, Market Weighton Infant school and Hessle Penshurst Primary school from September.
School Streets is a pioneering approach to improving the environment outside schools whereby traffic is restricted at the start and the end of the school day.
Encouraging parents, carers and families to either park well away from the school or travel more sustainably through walking or cycling will help to reduce congestion, parking pressures, discourage unnecessary car journeys and improve the environment outside the school gates.
The introduction of School Streets is aimed at encouraging a move towards more sustainable and active modes of travel, making it easier and safer for pupils to walk, cycle or scoot to school, and creating a more pleasant environment in those areas.
School Streets could also help parents and pupils to socially distance during the coronavirus pandemic, by creating additional space for them to travel safely to and from school on foot, by scooter or bike.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council is working in partnership with all four schools to introduce the three additional pilots from the beginning of the new academic year in September.
Councillor Gary McMaster, portfolio holder for planning, infrastructure and housing for East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “I am delighted to support the implementation of School Streets. It is a wonderful initiative to help reduce traffic congestion and parking pressures outside schools while promoting more active and sustainable journeys though walking and cycling. Encouraging more to travel in an active way daily, has a huge benefit not only to our environment and to the communities in which we live and work, but also to our physical and mental health. I am sure many parents, carers and their children are benefitting from a more pleasant environment, and generally making the area outside schools much less stressful and congested for everyone at drop-off and collection times. I very much look forward to seeing these further School Street schemes becoming part of this increasingly popular national initiative.”
Maxwell Road, Pocklington, the one way section of Princess Road, Market Weighton, Whinthorpe Road and Seagran Avenue, Hessle – the roads directly outside or leading to the schools - will be covered by an experimental motor vehicle restriction, which will only be enforced during drop off and pick up times in the mornings and afternoons.
Residents and any businesses located on the effected streets will have the opportunity to apply for an exemption permit which will allow access to the School Streets zone during the restricted times. In addition, there will also be a list of exempted vehicles which may enter the zone during the restriction.
Pocklington Infant School headteacher, Dr Bartram, said; “Pocklington CE Infant school is looking forward to participating in the School Streets scheme. We hope that by restricting Maxwell Road for a short period every day, we can ensure a safer journey to and from school for our families.”
Market Weighton Infant School headteacher, Mrs Kay-Wood, said: “In joining the School Streets initiative, we hope that our children and families will benefit from a safer journey to school by reducing school traffic along the road leading to the school. It should also create a healthier environment and encourage more children to walk, bike or scoot to school.”
Hessle Penshurst Primary School headteacher, Mrs Spencer, said: “We are really excited to be involved with this scheme as we are passionate about improving our community and keeping roads directly outside the school safer for our children. It works really well with the support we give to Brakes Charity and works in tandem with our recent platinum Modeshift award.”
Parents and carers at all schools will be given more information before the start of the scheme, as will residents and any businesses located along the restricted roads.
Each school is now looking for volunteer marshals to support their School Streets project – volunteers are crucial to the scheme, as they will be on hand to help and guide motorists and pedestrians to understand the new restrictions, and explain what’s going on in a friendly, polite and positive way.
Each school will need volunteers to cover up to one hour each morning and up to one hour in the afternoon, during term time – flexible volunteering across a team of people is encouraged, so please get in touch even if you can only volunteer for one or two hours/days per week.
If you are over 18 years old, keen to make a difference within the local community and become a School Streets volunteer marshal, please contact the individual school in your area direct.