Cabinet to consider plans for School Streets trial
Shropshire Council’s Cabinet will next week be asked to approve an 18-month ‘School Streets’ scheme trial – and agree that ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) cameras be used to enforce restrictions.
School Streets are streets outside of school gates that are pedestrianised (except for permit holders) during school drop off and pick up times.
Under the new ‘moving traffic offences’ legislation Shropshire Council can apply for powers to enforce school streets using ANPR cameras.
Six schools will take part in the trial, and their names will be confirmed at the Cabinet meeting.
Should Cabinet approve the use of ANPR cameras, a six-week consultation will be carried out with residents living near each of the six schools, as part of the approval process for obtaining ‘moving traffic offences’ powers.
Kirstie Hurst-Knight, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member responsible for children and education, said:
“School Streets have been rolled out across the UK for several years. We already have one at Coleham Primary in Shrewsbury – implemented using coronavirus powers – and I look forward to adding more to the list, using this new legislation. By using cameras, a larger number of schools will be eligible for the scheme.”
Ian Nellins, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member responsible for active travel, said:
“School Streets have proven to be successful in increasing active travel levels to school as well as creating safer environments outside the school gates.
“Where traffic is restricted on roads outside schools at pick-up and drop-off times during term-times, school streets make it safer and easier for children to walk, scoot and cycle to school. This reduces children’s exposure to air pollution on part of their journey to school and from cars with idling engines outside the school gates.”
The results of the 18-month trial will then be presented to Cabinet with the intention of rolling out the scheme further if successful.
The proposed School Streets scheme would be 100% funded DfT grant funding and is estimated to cost approximately £31,000 for schools with one camera and £62,000 for schools with two cameras.
Any surplus arising from enforcement of School Streets will be reinvested back into the School Streets project to enable the continued rollout across the county.
Motor vehicles belonging to the following groups of drivers are eligible for an exemption permit, to enable them to drive in a School Street during the hours of operation:
- Blue Badge holders
- Schools buses and vehicles used in the transport of children and adults with special access needs, including private vehicles, taxies and minicabs declared for such use and registered with the school or with the council.
- In exceptional circumstances the school may also request a temporary waiver to enable vehicle access for situations such as a pupil with a temporary injury affecting mobility.
For more information about School Streets, go to http://schoolstreets.org.uk/