Many schools experience parking, traffic congestion, road safety and air quality issues immediately outside their school. Our School Streets programme aims to address these.
What is a School Street?
School Streets transform roads outside schools, so that pedestrians and cyclists are prioritised at school start and finish times.
They reduce road danger, improve air quality and tackle congestion near the school gates, making it easier and safer to walk and cycle to school.
They create a more pleasant environment for everyone, while making sure residents, businesses, pedestrians and cyclists can use the road.
Why School Streets?
The council is committed to tackling our climate emergency and the escalating levels of pollution at peak times on our road network. Childhood obesity in the borough is also one of the highest in London.
The council adopted the School Streets plan (PDF, 509KB) in November 2020 to address these issues and support the promise to improve the lives of our residents as described in the Borough Plan 2019-23 (PDF, 2MB).
How they work
The streets around a school temporarily become a Pedestrian and Cycle Zone at set times in the morning and afternoon, usually for 1 - 1.5 hours at the start and end of the school day, Monday to Friday during term time.
Vehicles are not permitted to enter the zone between these times unless they have been granted an exemption. Exemptions are available in some instances and are applied ‘virtually’ and enforced by camera. This means those motorists with an exemption, including emergency services, have unhindered access to the road network.
Benefits of School Streets
School Streets create a safer street for people outside a school at drop-off and pick-up times, bringing the following benefits:
- Reducing traffic volumes outside the school, which will reduce emissions and improve air quality
- Making it safer to walk, cycle, scoot, and wheel to school. Children will benefit from increased physical activity on their journey to and from school
- Reducing traffic congestion and parking problems outside the school to reduce road danger
School Street signs
Traffic signs are the main method of communication for any traffic scheme. The size, type and position of traffic signs are defined by national regulations (external link).
When introducing School Streets, the council will generally exceed what is required by the regulations. Normally, we install 2 “pedestrian and cycle zone” (mandatory) signs at each School Street entrance point as well as a variety of (advisory) advance warning signs (map-based signs and text information signs) and camera-enforcement warning signs.
In addition to on-street traffic signs, we inform the public via:
- letter drop
- statutory notification
- social media
- updates to navigation apps (Google Maps, Waze, etc)
- messaging from the schools
- on-street banners and posters
All of the above are designed to help communicate the existence of the traffic restriction and far exceed what is required by the regulations.
Signs inform drivers of the restrictions at the entrances to the School Street. Vehicles are not allowed to enter a School Street during the times of operation unless they have a valid exemption.
School Streets are enforced across the borough, and motorists who contravene a restriction may be issued a penalty charge notice (PCN) issued using an automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) camera.
These cameras monitor the number plates of the vehicles that drive into the street and issue PCNs if the vehicle is not registered for an exemption. The penalty charge issued for driving into a School Street is £130, reduced to £65 if paid within 14 days.
Have your say
- See all current and past School Streets consultations – your feedback is important!
- Contact the team via email: firstname.lastname@example.org