In a bid to make journeys to school safer and healthier, two schools in Bristol have become School Streets this autumn.
Minerva Primary Academy in Hillfields and Whitehall Primary School in Easton have joined five other schools in Bristol to introduce School Streets.
The streets outside these schools will now be classed as walking, cycling, and wheeling zones, restricting car use with temporary barriers put out across the road at drop off and pick up times at the start and end of the school day.
The permanent scheme encourages families to walk, cycle, wheel, scoot or park further away from the school and walk the last part of the journey.
To celebrate their new School Street status, Minerva Primary Academy held a Playing Out session on the traffic-free roads outside their school on 9 September, and Whitehall Primary School will do the same on the afternoon of 23 September.
In collaboration with Bristol City Council and the national organisation Playing Out, these launch events involved children enjoying traditional street games, including chalking on the pavement, hopscotch, hula hooping and skipping.
Councillor Don Alexander, Cabinet Member for Transport, said:
I am thrilled to welcome two more schools as they become School Streets, and happy to see lots of children enjoying the Playing Out sessions.
School Streets have many benefits for local communities, including reducing traffic outside school gates, improving road safety for pupils, reducing air pollution, and boosting the number of children travelling actively to school.
We hope this will help encourage our next generation to cycle and walk more, as we need to embrace travelling more sustainably if we are going to become carbon neutral by 2030.
Jenny Harvey, Principal of Minerva Primary Academy, said:
“As a school community we are delighted to be part of the Bristol School Street initiative.
Many parents have commented on how calm and peaceful their mornings now are. Even those who have used the park and stride have enjoyed walking the short distance to the school gates.
It has been a joy to see children safely walking, scooting and cycling with their family and friends. We hope that this initiative encourages a healthy habit for life.
Tom Burton, Head Teacher of Whitehall Primary School, said:
School Streets enables our families to have much safer journeys to and from school and many parents and carers have told us how happy they are with the scheme.
Children are able to enjoy walking, cycling and scooting to school in a much healthier traffic free environment.
Find out more about Bristol School Streets on the travelwest website.