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enfield school streets logoEnfield's first "school streets" - outside St Monica's primary school (Cannon Road N14) and Oakthorpe primary school (Tile Kiln Lane N13) - are likely to go live after the February half term. The council hopes to complete a further three schemes by this spring. The rate of implementation in the next financial year and thereafter will depend on availability of funding and the degree of interest and commitment shown by schools.

A "school street" is when the roads immediately surrounding a school are closed to motor traffic for a period of time in the morning and the afternoon (drop-off and pick-up times) but remain open to pedestrians, cyclists and, depending on how the scheme is implemented, those who are exempt from the closures, such as residents of the street, approved pupil transport vehicles, approved staff and support workers.

This is an exciting programme that can help make the environment outside a school safer, healthier and more inviting for those choosing to walk, scoot and cycle. A school’s engagement with the School Streets programme can also demonstrate to the wider community the school’s commitment to reducing the effects of vehicle emissions, improving air quality, road safety and the overall health and wellbeing of pupils and parents. (Excerpt from a letter sent to head teachers in September 2019)

The school streets programme reflects both Enfield Council's commitment to tackling the climate emergency and traffic-related air pollution, and the importance that the council places on the health and mental wellbeing of our children. School streets are intended to:

  • improve local air quality outside schools
  • reduce the danger to schoolchildren from motor traffic
  • increase children's physical activity - making the school gate cleaner and safer will encourage more active travel to and from school.

Where implementing a school street is not a feasible option, the council will seek to work with schools on alternative measures to reduce the number of children being driven to and from school.

Information about Enfield Council's school streets programme was provided to Palmers Green Community by Craig Nicol, the council's healthy streets and complementary measures manager (see the text of his letter below). Further information is available on the council website.

School streets - letter in answer to an enquiry by Palmers Green Community

Dear Basil,

Thanks for your enquiry, Alex has passed it on to me as the lead for the project.

We engaged with all primary school heads on the return from the summer holidays. We opened up expressions of interest to junior and academy schools in the borough, from 9th September to 6th October. This was followed up with weekly reminders to apply throughout the open period.

Oakthorpe and St Monica’s will be going live in the new year. A final date has not been fixed as of yet. We need to finalised the vehicle exemption application process and write to residents in the affected area to inform them of the application process. This is likely to take place in Mid Jan so I would hope to implement the scheme after the Feb half term.

These two school schools were part of our initial trial to bench test the process for implementation. We have used a robust engagement plan delivered by our partners Sustrans, which involved letters to all residents, multiple open evenings where we discussed the scheme. and pop up events at pick up and drop off time to talk to parents. Some elements like permitting which have caused delays at these schools will not affect future schemes and we will take a full review of the process at the end of the implementation to ensure our lesson learnt help to refine our delivery.

Oakthorpe and St Monica’s will be the first two completed school streets in the borough. We are working with the education dept to implement school streets and schools that have recently expanded and may have a school street and part of their planning conditions. We also expect to start the engagement process with a school that will be selected from the September expression of interest.

We hope to have five school streets implemented by the spring 2020. We will have a solid commitment for the next year's delivery once 2020 / 21 budgets are released in April 2020. Once funding is established we will be able to take the decision as to whether to re release expressions of interest for a second intake. If this is done I would expect this to happen in June 2020.

We received 13 applications for school streets in September. All applications that are considered viable for delivery will be held on file pending the necessary funding to implement. Engineers' assessments have just been concluded and all schools will be notified in the new year.

Where a school may not be feasible to implement a school street, we will seek to work with those schools to introduce other measures that may contribute to a migration away from vehicle uses at pick up and drop off times to further tackle safety at the school gate, obesity in children through inactivity and the climate emergency that we are facing as a community.

I hope this helps to give you a full picture of our program, feel free to drop me a line directly should you need any further information.

Kind regards,

Craig Nicol | Healthy Streets & Complementary Measures Manager
Planning, Highways and Transportation | Place Department | London Borough of Enfield

Links

"School streets" for two local primaries (Palmers Green Community 24 November 2019)

School streets page on Cycle Enfield website

Letter to head teachers, September 2019

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David Eden's Avatar
David Eden posted a reply #5086 08 Jan 2020 09:23
Love the concept but staggeringly short sighted and ignorant ref the St Monica's one unless it plays out markedly different to the original plans.

Cannon Road is a quite cul de sac, essentially, not a busy through road that would benefit from being a school street. It is already shocking for local residents who get their streets flooded with school run mums circa 9am and 3pm taking up all the parking.

Unless this school street is combined with a CPZ for the local area to cover these times then all it will do is cause further misery for innocent local residents.