Three schools in Bristol are taking steps to improve safety, reduce congestion and improve air quality outside their gates by proposing to join the council’s School Streets programme.
St Bernadette Catholic Primary School in Whitchurch, Fair Furlong Primary School in Hartcliffe, and Ashley Down Primary School in Horfield are the next three schools looking to introduce School Streets.
This is the initiative that turns streets outside schools into priority zones for people to walk and cycle, and restricts car use at the start and end of the school day.
School Streets aim to reduce congestion and improve air quality at the school gates as well as make it easier and safer to walk or cycle to school.
Councillor Don Alexander, Cabinet Member for Transport, said:
We are really ramping up our School Streets programme, and, if successful, these three new schools could bring our total number in Bristol up to 11.
School Streets help to reduce parking, traffic congestion, and air quality issues at the school gates, while improving road safety for children and their families.
Our aim is to also encourage active travel, and getting people into the routine of walking, cycling and scooting from a young age will help embed this with our next generation.
We hope people across these three areas support the proposals, which could transform the roads outside the schools, creating a more pleasant environment for everyone, while making sure residents, businesses, pedestrians, and cyclists can still use the roads.
The proposals for St Bernadette Catholic Primary School, Fair Furlong Primary School, and Ashley Down Primary School would mean that the roads outside the school gates will become walking, cycling, wheeling, and scooting-only zones at school start and finish times.
Vehicles would not be permitted to enter the zones for around 45 minutes in the morning and one-hour in the afternoon. The restrictions would not apply to emergency vehicles and Blue Badge holders, and residents within the closure zone would be able to gain access with a resident access permit.
Amy Sood, Headteacher of Ashley Down Primary School, said:
We continue to encourage active travel to Ashley Down and can see the benefits this has to children and families in promoting exercise and reducing traffic congestion around school.
The School Streets programme offers an opportunity to limit road usage around the school site and create safer pavements for our families to walk on.
Barbara Lee, Headteacher of St Bernadette Catholic Primary School, said:
We welcome the benefits Bristol’s School Streets Programme will bring to our school and to the residents of Gladstone Road. This includes a cleaner route to and from school with the freedom for our children to walk, wheel, scoot or cycle safely.
We look forward to working with our community and Bristol School Streets to make our school road a priority zone for the safety and wellbeing of all pedestrians.
Sarah Andrews, Headteacher of Fair Furlong Primary School, said:
We at Fair Furlong Primary are very excited to be working with Bristol School Streets to help make our pupils’ journey to and from school a safer and healthier experience.
We aim to limit road usage around the school site and create safer pavements, enabling our children and their families to freely walk, scoot or cycle in safety.
To help inform the design of the new School Streets, parents, carers, and staff, as well as residents and businesses across the three areas, are being asked for their thoughts on local traffic and parking and for their opinions on the proposals.
To find out more about the proposed schemes and fill in a short survey, please visit https://travelwest.info/projects/bristol-school-streets. The deadline to complete the survey is 5pm on Friday 17 February.