Creating safer routes to school and reducing air pollution around schools is set to become a reality for two schools in Portsmouth as they launch their School Streets trial in the autumn term.
Portsmouth City Council will, this week, be speaking to the residents and business owners along the roads taking part in the School Streets trials – sharing information, providing an opportunity to ask questions and giving them an insight into how this will benefit them. The first School Streets in Portsmouth will launch on 13 September outside St Jude’s school. The Bramble Infant School and Nursery trial will follow on 20 September.
A taster day in late June/early July will give residents, parents and pupils a chance to see the School Street in action and find out more, ahead of the seven-week trial starting in September. Learning from people’s experience is essential to the future success of School Streets in Portsmouth. A survey will be available on the schools’ websites just before the trial and after the trial finishes, for the local community and parents of children attending the school to share their views.
During the trial, School Streets will operate twice a day for approximately one hour at the start and end of the school day during term time. Removable barriers will be managed by trained stewards to temporarily restrict access for motorised vehicles. Access will be maintained for residents and business premises on the street, emergency services, school transport, blue badge holders, carers of residents who live in the street and people with specific requirements that have been pre-agreed with the headteacher of each school.
The council are currently in discussions with other schools that have been selected for Phase 2 of the trial which will launch in February 2022. Anyone that is interested in a School Street in their area should contact their local school. Headteachers can then work with the council to ask for support to launch a School Street in their area once the council has learnt from the trial how to manage School Streets successfully in Portsmouth.
Cllr Suzy Horton, Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education, said “I am thrilled to be speaking to local residents and business owners about our upcoming School Streets trial. Creating cleaner air around schools is not just beneficial to pupils’ health and wellbeing, it’s also the local community that will reap the benefits of reduced congestion, noise and air pollution. I look forward to visiting the taster days and seeing the first School Street in action in Portsmouth”
Megan Streb, Partnership Manager for Sustrans said, “Sustrans is delighted to be working with school communities in Portsmouth to deliver the taster days and trial School Streets. The trial offers an opportunity to hear from the local community about the project. We know from our work in schools across the country that students, parents, school staff and residents are keen to see a happier, safer and healthier environment outside the school gates.”
For more information visit www.travel.portsmouth.gov.uk/schoolstreets