Lambeth Council has announced a new programme of 21 'school streets' planned to be in place from September.
School streets, which are timed or permanent road closures by schools, aim to make it safer for pupils by the gates, while also allowing for social distancing.
The changes, which will involve timed closures at 21 school sites from September, are expected to cost £75,000 “initially”.
Schools that can’t get involved because of technical or other reasons will be considered for other measures to improve social distancing and active travel.
Councillor Claire Holland, deputy Leader and cabinet member for sustainable transport, environment, and clean air, said keeping children “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 whilst 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,” she said.
With the potential link between Covid-19 and air pollution becoming clearer, as well as the ongoing need for social distancing, there has never been a more important time to put these measures in place
Lambeth already has two permanent school streets around Jessop Primary School on Lowden Road, Herne Hill, and Immanuel and St Andrew CE Primary School on Northanger Road, Streatham.
The new schools include:
- Christ Church Primary School, Streatham
- The Orchard, Brixton
- St Luke’s Primary School, Norwood
- two streets by Van Gogh Primary, Vassall
- Paxton Primary School, Gipsy Hill
- St Mary’s RC Primary School, Clapham
- Sunnyhill Primary School, Streatham
- Richard Atkins Primary School, Brixton
- Elm Wood Primary School, Norwood
- Telferscot Primary School, Thornton
- Julian’s Primary School, West Norwood
- Sudbourne Primary School, Brixton
- St John Angell Town Primary School, Brixton
- Larkhall Primary School, Stockwell
The following are currently earmarked for possible day-long road closures, but all are subject to change depending on the ability to implement the measures.
- Hitherfield Primary School, Streatham
- Henry Cavendish Primary School Balham
- Henry Cavendish Primary School, Streatham
- Woodmansterne (all-through) School, Streatham
- Archbishop Sumner Primary School, Prince’s,
- Bonneville Primary School, Clapham
Cllr Ed Davie, cabinet member for children and young people said: “Hundreds of Lambeth residents, including children, die every year from vehicle air pollution and scores more are killed and seriously injured by drivers.
“By freeing space around schools like this we can make the air cleaner and the streets safer so that children and their families can walk, cycle and scoot together.”
Nikki Smiton, from Mums for Lungs, said it was “great to see Lambeth joining other London boroughs in embracing school streets”.
“With the potential link between Covid-19 and air pollution becoming clearer, as well as the ongoing need for social distancing, there has never been a more important time to put these measures in place.
“It’s essential to do all we can to protect children’s delicate lungs ahead of schools fully re-opening in September,” she said.
The new measures will be a combination of school streets with restrictions at the start and end of the school day, and full-time changes to the road layout around school gates at all times.