Are car free zones outside primary schools coming to Cambridgeshire?

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Car free zones could be piloted outside primary schools in Cambridgeshire to ease traffic and cut air pollution if a trial in Cambridge proves successful.

According to Cllr Noel Kavanagh: “The purpose of the no car zones are to encourage parents to leave their cars behind and have children walk and cycle to school.

Cars parked outside Queen's Drive Infant School

Cars parked outside Queen's Drive Infant School

“The roads outside the schools are not physically closed to traffic; instead, the councils use temporary automatic number plate recognition cameras to scan if vehicles passing through the pedestrian zones have permission.”

Local residents and their visitors are able to enter or leave the zones by applying for an advance access permit (which will be free). Motorists driving in the zones during the peak times without a valid permit receive a penalty charge notice.

The motion will be put to the full council on July 17. If it is successful three primary schools will be the initial subjects of the trials for a period of 18 months.

If the trialling is deemed to be successful the schemes will be made permanent and extended to other schools in Cambridge and other towns in Cambridgeshire.

The motion reads: “Discouraging the school run will also boost walking and cycling levels, improve the health of children through the increase in exercising and help tackle obesity levels and improve the environment.

“The arrival at school will be a less stressful and less dangerous experience for children and parents and the residential areas where most schools are located will be less polluted.”

Josh Thomas, Local Democracy Reporting Service