Roads closed to traffic as kids go back to school

By Owen Sheppard, Local Democracy Reporter

Roads will be closed to motor traffic in front of schools in Kensington and Chelsea to help children arrive and get home safely.

Eight schools in the west London borough worked with the council to set up School Streets, which encourages socially-distant cycling and walking, with less reliance on cars and buses.

It comes after a successful trial of the first School Street in front of Colville School in Notting Hill.

Last year, a 135-metre stretch of Lonsdale Road, once packed with parked cars, was closed during school arrival and closing times.

Now Kensington and Chelsea council has announced seven more schools will have their own School Streets, starting today.

They are:

  • Wetherby Kensington School, where Wetherby Gardens will close between 8.15-9am and 3-4pm
  • Knightsbridge School, where Pont Street will close between 7.45-9.15am and 3.15-4.45pm
  • Holy Trinity CofE Primary, where Cadogan Gardens will close between 8.45-9.15am and 3-3.40pm
  • Bevington Primary School, where Bevington Road will close between 8.30-9.30am and 3-4pm
  • Chelsea Academy, where Burnaby Street and Tetcott Road will close between 8.05-8.45am and 3.35-3.50pm
  • Hill House School, where Hans Street will close between 8-9am and 4-6pm
  • Vicente Canada Blanch Spanish School, where Portobello Road will close between 8.15-8.45am and 3-3.30pm

The council’s lead member for transport, Councillor Johnny Thalassites, said: “Keeping streets around schools safe at commuting time is a great way to encourage those who can scoot, walk or cycle to do so. It’s good for local air quality and good for children’s health.

“It’s also helpful for maintaining social distancing and making sure we keep transmission of coronavirus low. If your family can walk to school you could be helping free up more space on public transport and on the roads for those who do not have an active travel option for their journey.”

Earlier this year Colville Primary School Street was made permanent after a six-month trial period. Parents at Colville Primary said the atmosphere outside school has completely transformed, with people stopping for a while to talk, play and say goodbye properly.

Pictured top: Colville Primary School showed off its School Streets on national Car-Free Day in September last year


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