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Councillor Richards at one of the school streets sites

Successful ‘school streets’ pilot here to stay in Solihull

An innovative pilot scheme introduced outside three Solihull schools to help tackle traffic and promote healthy travel is to be rolled out permanently.

In response to concerns about road safety and congestion during the school run, the Solihull ‘School Streets’ scheme was introduced in September 2017. This new scheme (which was the first of its kind in England) has restricted access to school related and general through traffic on roads leading to the three schools at the start and end of the School day. In doing so, the scheme is intended to promote sustainable, healthy travel for school children, whilst addressing traffic management and pollution issues at the school gate which are common concerns for many parents and residents.

The scheme which has been trialled outside Haslucks Green Junior School, Marston Green Infant Academy and Oak Cottage Primary School has demonstrated that this type of initiative can have a positive impact on the local community, encouraging sustainable travel whilst reducing traffic at the school gate.

At his decision making session today Councillor Ted Richards OBE, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Transport and Highways noted the success of the pilot scheme and approved proposals to introduce the three Traffic Regulation Orders on a permanent basis. Councillor Richards said:

“Restricting roads entirely at certain times of the day may sound pretty extreme but actually what our pilot has shown is that, when managed properly, these closures can really benefit the local community and encourage active travel to school.

“I know both parents and residents alike share our aims of addressing traffic issues around the school run and recognise the benefit this scheme is having. The pilot has helped create a safer, more pleasant environment which encourages active travel to school, while reducing congestion and improving air quality.

“People have generally responded well to the changes. Where specific issues have been raised, we will continue to work with those affected on a case by case basis to see what assistance we can provide. Overall the scheme has brought real benefits and has made positive changes in travel behaviour and traffic management associated with the school run.”

The Council will continue to monitor the performance of the ‘school streets’ project and will be investigating opportunities to expand the scheme at additional locations to coincide with the start of the next academic year.

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