Hackney Council launches nationwide blueprint to ban traffic outside schools
Hackney Council has launched a guide to help councils across the country replicate its successful School Streets, which ban motor traffic outside schools at opening and closing times.
School Streets have been running in Hackney since 2017, with five now in operation, and two more, at Audrey Street (Sebright School and the City of London Academy, Shoreditch Park) and Detmold Road (Southwold School), due to launch in the coming weeks.
They are aimed at reclaiming the roads outside schools from cars, improving air quality at the school gates and making it easier for children to walk and cycle to school.
Since they were launched, the proportion of children cycling to participating schools in Hackney has increased by over 50%, with traffic outside the schools reducing by around two-thirds, improving air quality at school opening and closing times.
The Council has plans to implement 17 School Streets by 2022, which will cover around a third of primary schools in the borough.
The free guide, known as the School Streets toolkit, will support councils nationwide to launch their own School Streets. It uses the borough’s experience in implementing School Streets to take other local authorities step-by-step through the process.
Its launch comes as Public Health England advised in March that idling outside School should be banned.
Our pioneering School Streets have been incredibly successful so far, with widespread support from children, parents, teachers and local people.
They also go so much further than simply banning idling outside schools - they make the streets outside places for everyone, tackle poor air quality and tackle the obesity crisis by making it easier for kids to walk or cycle to school.
We’ve had lots of interest in School Streets from as far afield as Toronto and Singapore and feel that we have a duty to share our new toolkit with councils nationwide, as we want to see schools transformed and the school-run become a thing of the past.