Eight further primary schools join Leeds Council School Streets scheme closing roads to traffic

Streets around a further eight primary schools in Leeds will close to traffic during the school run from today.

Monday, 7th September 2020, 10:26 am

The schools are the latest to join a Leeds City Council pilot scheme, closing off roads around the schools to all traffic except cyclists, Blue Badge-holders and emergency vehicles.

It is hoped the School Streets scheme will make social distancing easier for parents and pupils to help with staggered returns for children who are going back to school.

The latest eight primary schools to join the scheme are: Beecroft Primary School, Kirkstall; Chapel Allerton Primary School, Chapel Allerton; Great Preston CofE Primary School, Great Preston; Hollybush Primary School, Bramley; Hugh Gaitskell Primary School, Beeston; Middleton St Mary’s CE Primary School, Middleton; Westgate Primary School, Otley; and Woodlesford Primary School, Woodlesford.

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Chapel Allerton Primary School is one of eight Leeds schools added to the School Streets scheme

Six primary schools launched the scheme in June and will continue with the trial: Pudsey Primrose Hill Primary School, Pudsey; Ingram Road Primary School, Holbeck; Cross Gates Primary School, Cross Gates; Thorpe Primary School, Thorpe; Clapgate Primary, Middleton; and Lane End Primary, Beeston.

The council has imposed a temporary traffic regulation order to close the roads at the times displayed on signs outside the schools, with typical closure times being 8.30am–9.15am and 2.45pm–3.45pm.

Residents living within the new school street zones have been issued with permits and will be exempt from the restrictions.

Phase one of the scheme was successful, the council said, helping to improve air quality and congestion outside the primary schools.

It is hoped the road closures will make roads feel safer for parents and pupils and encourage more walking, scooting and cycling to and from school.

The council's executive member for climate change, transport and sustainable development, Coun Lisa Mulherin, said: “In June a group of six schools and their communities pioneered School Streets in Leeds.

"Thanks to their successful initiative over the summer term and the learning from it, we are today adding another eight schools to pilot School Streets, across the Leeds district.

"We would like to thank everyone involved in these pilots and wish them all continued success.

“This is a child-friendly initiative to make the journey to school safer and healthier for Leeds children and their families.

"By creating a safer space for pupils to enjoy a less stressful, healthier journey by walking, cycling or scooting when they return to school we’re also promoting the physical activity that we know has a long term benefit for physical and mental health.

“Over the summer I was pleased to receive feedback from those schools taking part, especially to hear children had the confidence to walk home on their own with many more biking, scooting or walking to school. And how much safer they felt on the way to school.

"This is exactly what we’re trying to achieve and we look forward to the scheme rolling out to even more schools in future.”

Clapgate Primary School headteacher Natasha Singleton said: “We absolutely love the scheme. It really has transformed the beginning and end of the school day.

"Everyone talks more and seems more relaxed and cheerful. The children use the whole road and have more freedom.

"The local residents watch the children go by and tell us constantly how much better it is - as do the parents. None of us ever want to go back to how it was before.”

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Thank you

Laura Collins