More roads outside Essex schools could be blocked off to vehicles

Several roads near schools across Essex could be blocked off with vehicles banned in a bid to make the areas safer for pupils.

School Streets restrict access to vehicles on the road outside primary schools during school term pick up and drop off times.

School traffic and through traffic will not be allowed during these times, but school staff will still be able to access schools while residents living within the restricted areas will be supplied with permits.

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Trained school staff – known as School Street Marshals – will be deployed to help manage the scheme.

The idea behind it is to reduce carbon emissions being emitted from motor vehicles outside of schools and to promote other forms of active travel, such as cycling or walking to school.

Three schools in Southend are already taking part in the School Streets Scheme led by the borough council, with Greenways School and Leigh North Street taking part since November 2020 when the scheme began.

Two weeks ago, Southend Borough Council confirmed that West Leigh School would also be taking part.

Now, Essex County Council is introducing the scheme in Colchester, Essex.

A spokesperson for Essex County Council said: “We are currently working with Sustrans, the national sustainable transport charity to build upon the successful Winstree Road trial in Colchester and develop a bespoke Essex School Streets Model.

“The starting point is working with local schools, parents and communities to explore how we can increase walking, cycling and scooting to schools, while at the same time considering how we can improve streets around schools to reduce congestion, emissions and improve road safety.

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“This approach putting schools, parents and communities at the heart of any changes seeks to develop localised solutions and therefore there isn’t a one size fits all solution.

“ECC’s approach is not enforcement led, our starting point is to encourage more walking and cycling and to develop solutions for parents who need to drop off children at points which are more suitable than outside of the school gates.

“However, retractable yellow barriers may be a good solution for some schools, subject to individual school requirements and where there is local support for them.”

Essex Live