School Streets - Information from the London Borough of Merton
London Borough of Merton
What is a school street?
School streets restrict motor vehicle access around schools which aim to create a safer, healthier and more liveable street environment for everyone.
Limiting access at pick-up and drop-off times gives the whole school community the opportunity to travel to and from school in safety. With less traffic, children can walk, scoot and cycle; helping kids to be healthier and more active. Local residents can enjoy quieter streets.
Fewer car journeys means less air pollution and lower impact on climate change, making an important contribution to improving health and the environment for everyone.
What to expect
From September 2020, signs will show that the street will be made into a pedestrian and cycling only zone. Restrictions will typically last 45 minutes but exact times may vary depending on the location.
Access will be made for local residents, business and teachers, but only if they have registered for an exemption and meet the criteria. Exemptions will also be made for blue badge holders and emergency vehicles.
Any non-registered vehicles attempting to drive along the street during these hours will be issued with a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN). Enforcement will be carried out using mobile cameras.
Do school streets work?
It’s early days, but school streets already in place in London have reported early signs of success; for example St Paul’s Way Primary school in Hackney showed increased active travel after three months.
How you can support school streets
Parents and carers can, where possible, avoid taking their children to school by car. Despite needing to juggle busy lives, many households live within walking distance from their school. Schools can support by providing clear guidance to parents and discussing the benefits of school streets with pupils.
A survey undertaken by TfL shows most Londoners want to avoid a car-led recovery from the Coronavirus. We hope residents will work together with schools to make the most of a nearly traffic-free environment.
Do I get a say?
The school streets are put in as a temporary measure which forms part of the consultation process. This will enable schools and residents to experience the change before making comments, and the Council will monitor its impact for a period of between 6 and 12 months. After this time, the Council can make the school street permanent, to modify its design or remove.