Car Free School Streets scheme to go live
A pilot scheme which will see roads around six Birmingham schools closed to motorised traffic at the start and end of the school day is set to launch on Monday (23 September).
Car Free School Streets is a pioneering initiative which aims to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality at the school gates, as well as making it safer for children to walk or cycle to school.
The scheme will be launched at two events at participating schools, beginning with Featherstone Primary School, in Stockland Green, on Monday 23 September 2019, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by refreshments for parents, teachers, pupils and residents. Refreshments will be provided by The Active Wellbeing society as part of its Big Feed project.
The second part of the launch event will be an afternoon of sports activities at Cofton Primary School, in West Heath, on Wednesday 25 September.
Birmingham City Council is trialling this initiative with six schools for the duration of the 2019/20 academic year, through to July 2020. The schools involved are Alston Primary (Heartlands), Chilcote Primary (Hall Green South), Cofton Primary (Longbridge & West Heath), Featherstone Primary (Stockland Green), Nelson Primary (Ladywood), and St Francis CE Primary (Bournville & Cotteridge).
Residents living on the streets affected will be issued with permits to access their properties and there will be some other exemptions, including blue badge holders and emergency services. Anyone else driving in the restricted zone at these times can be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice charge of £50.
Councillor Waseem Zaffar, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment at Birmingham City Council, said:
“Car Free School Streets are about putting children and families first, making it easier and safer for them to walk or cycle to and from school, while also helping to reduce air pollution.
“Air pollution is a major problem here in Birmingham and the school gate is a location where we are particularly exposed to this. As the father of young children myself, I know that I cannot simply stand by and do nothing.
“This pilot scheme is a hugely positive step forward and is one of a number of things we are doing to tackle air pollution and encourage people to make greener travel choices.
“Although this is a pilot scheme, in the long-term I want every school in the city to be a clean air safe haven for our children.”