The Ealing School Streets programme launched this week, with 12 new schemes.
They are being implemented using funding from the London Streetspace Plan, which is a central Government fund (administered by TfL) in response to the COVID emergency. School Streets are usually implemented to encourage walking, scooting or cycling, improve air quality and reduce road danger outside of schools. However, a vital additional purpose for the COVID-19 recovery is to provide additional space outside of schools so that parents/carers can drop off and collect their children whilst safely social distancing. Schools have helped with staggered start and end times, widening their entrances as much as possible and using additional entrances and/or one-way systems where possible.
Schemes are being implemented using mobile barriers and will utilise an Experimental Traffic Order (ETO) which can stay in force for up to 18 months prior to the decision on whether to make them permanent or not. This allows for consultation on and monitoring of impacts and changes can be made to the scheme where adverse impacts become apparent.
Schools chosen to participate in these schemes have already tried other means of improving the road environment around the school gates. One of the selection criteria for this programme is that schools have achieved, or are working towards achieving, a TfL Stars accreditation. They will have tried publicity, training and promotion activities to improve the situation, often with limited success.
Schools will support their scheme by continuing to promote active travel and raising awareness of road safety for the school journey. https://ealingnewsextra.co.uk/coronavirus/school-streets-up-and-running-across-the-borough/