School Streets

Group of children walking in a line along the streetWe work closely with many schools in the borough as part of the School Travel Plan process to encourage more pupils and parents to walk, scoot or cycle to school rather than drive. Schools with a Travel Plan and commitment to increasing active travel among their school community are being invited to show an interest in a trial School Street scheme, particularly if they have highlighted  concerns regarding parking, idling and/or high traffic volumes in the vicinity of their school.

School Streets involve temporarily closing one or more roads surrounding a school to most vehicles for a short period at the start and end of the school day, typically 45 minutes to one hour.

What are the benefits of a School Street?

Restricting vehicle access around a school at these times should have the following benefits for the school community and local residents:

  • Improved road safety for all road users
  • A reduction in anti-social behaviour from inconsiderate parking and dangerous vehicle manoeuvers
  • Fewer motor journeys on the school run, meaning more active and healthy lifestyles for pupils and their parents, as well as reduced traffic on the roads
  • Improved air quality around the school gates, due to reduced engine idling.

Some road users will be exempt from this restriction such as residents and businesses based in the affected road, blue badge holders, registered carers, emergency services and vehicles already parked in a restricted road when the restriction time begins.

Generally school staff, parents, visitors, deliveries and general through traffic will not be exempt from the restriction. Motorists driving into the restricted area during times of operation will receive a Penalty Charge Notice of£130, reduced to £65 if paid within 14 days.

In Waltham Forest, School Streets are initiated by the schools themselves following engagement with staff, governors and parents. Waltham Forest Council will then hold a public consultation with residents and businesses within the affected streets. If there is community support for a School Streets scheme, a trial will be introduced for a six month period, which will then be reviewed following further feedback from the school and local community as well as through data gathered on traffic volumes, school travel mode share and motorist behaviour.

Teachers or head teachers wanting more information about the School Streets scheme can get in contact with the council by emailing: schoolstreets@walthamforest.gov.uk

Current School Streets

We are currently consulting with residents on a School Street proposal for George Mitchell Primary School.