Peterborough schools look to make road safety scheme permanent

A number of Peterborough schools are looking to make successful road safety scheme permanent.

Friday, 3rd September 2021, 10:06 am
St John Fisher Catholic High School is one of the schools taking part in the scheme

ALast year, Peterborough City Council introduced the ‘School Streets’ scheme using government funding aimed at encouraging cycling and walking during the pandemic and to maintain social distancing.

The scheme had the added benefit of reducing congestion and pollution by the school gates and improving safety for children making their way to and from school.

At the time, the council wrote to all city schools inviting them to take part in the initiative, which would allow them to temporarily close a road outside their entrance during opening and closing times (by using cones and with signage) to make it a pedestrian and cycle zone.

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So far, 10 schools and nurseries have signed up to the scheme, with all now seeking to make the arrangements permanent.

To allow this to happen, when the settings re-open after the summer break the council will be issuing formal communications to parents, teachers and residents to ask for their feedback on the schemes and will begin the process of allowing them to continue on a permanent basis, where it is deemed appropriate to do so.

In addition, the council is looking to open up the scheme to new applicants from next month, with six schools so far having registered Expressions of Interest.

Cllr Lynne Ayres, council cabinet member for children’s services, education, skills and the university, said: “It is great to see how successful the School Streets scheme has been, with all participants eager to make the arrangements permanent.

“This initiative has shown the benefits of being environmentally friendly, something as a council we are committed to after declaring a Climate Emergency in 2019 and pledging to make our actions net carbon zero by 2030.

“I’m delighted we will be able to re-open the scheme in September and that we already have six more schools wanting to sign up.”

Cllr Peter Hiller, council cabinet for strategic planning and commercial strategy and investments, said: “The School Streets initiative is making it safer for children to get to and from the school gates, as well as helping to tackle the issue of parking in these areas.

“I would encourage as many schools as possible to try and sign up to the scheme which has proved extremely popular.”

Roads closed as part of the School Streets scheme can be accessed by emergency vehicles, residents, service vehicles and Blue Badge holders.

The schools and nurseries which have signed up to the School Streets scheme:

• Queen’s Drive Infant School

• Little Stars Day Nursery

• St John Fisher Catholic High School

• St Thomas More Catholic Primary School

• Brewster Avenue Infant and Nursery School

• St John’ s Church School

• Southfields Primary School

• St Michael’s Church School

• Saint Michael’s Ark pre school

• Lime Academy Parnwell.