More “school streets” introduced by Lambeth council to keep children safe

By Grainne Cuffe, Local Democracy Reporter

Lambeth council has introduced five more school streets as pupils return from the half-term holidays this week.

School streets, which are timed or permanent road closures by schools, aim to make it safer for pupils by the gates, improve air quality, and make space for social distancing.

The council announced a new programme of sites in July – 14 trial schemes were introduced in September.

Now five more have been added around primary schools Archbishop Sumner CE Primary, Bonneville Primary, Granton Primary, Henry Cavendish Primary Balham and Stockwell Primary.

Emergency vehicles, blue badge holders, and residents will still be able to access the roads at all times, but other motor vehicles, including those driven by parents to drop off or pick-up children at the school gates, will have restricted access.

Lambeth already has two permanent school streets, around Jessop Primary School in Lowden Road, Herne Hill, and Immanuel and St Andrew CE Primary School in Northanger Road, Streatham.

Schools that can’t get involved because of technical or other reasons were considered for other measures to improve social distancing and active travel.

The schools streets programme involves timed closures at 20 school sites, at an expected cost of around £75,000 “initially”.

The schemes are funded by the Mayor of London’s Streetspace programme – Lambeth received £2,639,000 from the pot, the most out of all London councils.

Cllr Claire Holland, Lambeth’s deputy leader and member for sustainable transport, environment and clean air, said: “Our children are our future, and keeping them healthy and safe is our number one priority.

“The majority of people in Lambeth do not have access to a car, and our aim needs to be ensuring equality when it comes to transport.

“Just because your family isn’t able to afford to run a car shouldn’t mean you are exposed to increased risk on public transport or while walking, cycling or scooting on our streets as they are too dangerous.

“We need to redress this balance, clean up our air and make our roads safer for everyone.”

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