School Streets scheme launched at Bridlington school to help ease congestion
A pilot scheme aimed at reducing traffic congestion outside schools and encouraging active travel, like walking and cycling, has launched at a Bridlington school.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s road safety team, in partnership with the school and supported by Humberside Police, is carrying out further trials of the initiative called School Streets outside Quay Academy, in Oxford Street.
School Streets, which started at the school last month, is a pioneering approach to improving the environment outside schools whereby traffic is restricted at the start and the end of the school day – preventing the build-up of congestion.
Parents, carers and families are being encouraged to park well away from the school and then walk, cycle or scoot the remaining distance to reduce parking and 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 using more sustainable and active modes of travel, making it easier and safer for families and pupils to walk, cycle or scoot to school, as well as creating a more pleasant area outside the entrance.
The roads directly outside or leading to the school are covered by Experimental Traffic Regulation Order, which will be enforced during drop off and pick up times in the mornings and afternoons.
Residents and any businesses on the effected streets 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 is also a list of exempted vehicles which may enter the zone during the restriction.
Councilllor Chris Matthews, the council’s portfolio holder for environment and climate change, said: “This is a fantastic scheme which is making such a big difference to the school and its pupils, getting rid of traffic problems at the school gates, making the air cleaner and improving the overall environment outside.
“I want to thank families, local residents and businesses for their support of this positive scheme.”
Karen Chapman, vice principal at Quay Academy, said: “The streets leading up to our school gates get congested on a daily basis.
“Cars often perform turns in the narrow road which pose a danger to pupils and parents. On occasions, cars have been blocked in and abandoned in the middle of the street during dropping off and pick up times, which is an inconvenience for the local residents.
“Quay Academy is thrilled to be taking part in the School Streets scheme. We really hope that the hard work from East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Humberside Police, our school and our local volunteers will deter cars from travelling on the roads leading up to our school gates.
“If the initiative is a success, our streets will become safer and greener for our local residents and school community.”
Laura Freshwater, a resident of Oxford Street resident and parent at Quay Academy, said: “I think this is a really good idea. We usually see cars turning in the road as they are dropping their children off at the gate.
“This is dangerous for the people on foot and the children are often running to school at this time.
“It's great that it covers all access points to the school as it makes it easier for the kids and parents.
“As a resident the street is free from congestion, and it is less noisy. You can even notice a difference today.
“School Streets is an excellent idea for the safety of the children and I definitely approve.”
A spokesperson for Humberside Police said: “This School Streets partnership project with East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Quay Academy, Humberside Police and the Bridlington residents is one that will help the surrounding community by addressing ongoing safety concerns, around traffic congestion to ensure that children can come and go from School safely.
“This will make children and families feel more confident to cycle and walk to school and to help improve the carbon footprint.”
Parents and carers at the school were well informed before the start of the scheme, as well as residents and any businesses located along the restricted roads.
The school is currently looking for volunteer marshals to help support the School Streets project. Volunteers are crucial to the scheme. They will be on hand to help motorists and pedestrians to understand the new restrictions, and explain what’s going on in a friendly, polite and positive way.
The school needs 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 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 school.