Birmingham’s Car Free School scheme extends across the city
Coinciding with World Car-free Day (Friday 22 September) Birmingham City Council has added a further three schools to its Car Free School Streets (CFSS) initiative, now totalling 20 schools.
Brookvale Primary School (Stockland Green ward), Penns Primary School (Sutton Wylde Green) and New Hall Primary School (Sutton Reddicap) are the latest schools to join the Car Free School Street scheme, which aims to make the streets surrounding local schools safer for children and parents to walk and cycle.
This pioneering scheme restricts the movement of motor vehicles on roads outside schools at the start and end of the day. The aim is to reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality and make it safer to walk, scoot and cycle to school. Previous phases of this scheme have received positive feedback, with over 70% of people (consisting of residents, parents, and school staff) saying they wanted this to continue at their school. This initial feedback has suggested that this initiative reduces school-related congestion, helps make roads feel safer, improves air quality, and encourages more walking, scooting, and cycling to school.
Councillor Liz Clements, Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, said:
“Streets surrounding schools are places where we put children and families first by keeping people safe and healthy and encouraging walking, wheeling, scooting, and cycling.
“We are learning from previous phases of our popular Car Free School Streets programme as we add another three schools to this to benefit more communities, people’s health, and the environment. We would like to thank everyone involved in these schemes and wish them all continued success.”
Mrs Becci Breedon, Head teacher at New Hall Primary, said:
“The road outside of our school is so much safer and healthier for our children. I am thrilled at how well our families, residents and whole school community have supported this.”
This part time closure of streets to traffic will not be appropriate for all schools, but all schools in Birmingham can access support and resources to promote safer, greener, healthier travel through the Modeshift STARS national award scheme.
Birmingham City Council is now inviting expressions of interest from any schools who would like to join the next phase of the Car Free School Streets programme in September 2024.
The Car Free School Streets programme is funded through net surplus revenues from the Clear Air Zone, which must be spent on transport-related strategies and policies that help improve air quality.
This latest phase of the programme has also been supported by the Department for Transport's Active Travel Fund, coordinated by Transport for the West Midlands.