Schools to trial timed street closures

South Gloucestershire Council has announced plans to introduce experimental traffic orders banning vehicles from roads outside three schools at drop-off and pick-up times.

The ’School Street’ trial involves King’s Oak Academy in Brook Road in Kingswood, Barley Close Community Primary in Mangotsfield, and Abbotswood Primary in Kelston Close in Yate. Signing and retractable permanent bollards will be installed at the closure point to the zones.

The council says: “The lockdown response to the COVID-19 pandemic has led to people using vehicles less and taking daily exercise more and we have a unique opportunity to ‘lock in’ the benefits of active travel, reduced air pollution and reduced carbon emissions. Traffic was at the same level as it was in the 1950s but is increasing daily and cycling in some locations is double pre-COVID-19 levels.”

To further maintain social distancing and continue to encourage safe access to and from schools, the council says it intends to introduce experimental part-time ‘School Street’ road closures with a view to permanently implement such measures in future.

A ‘School Street’ is a road with a temporary restriction on motorised traffic at school drop-off and pick-up times. The restriction applies to both school traffic and through traffic. The scheme reduces traffic congestion, improves air quality and encourages active travel to school and healthier lifestyles for families. Residents will be asked to avoid entering and leaving during the closures. Access for emergency vehicles will be maintained by school staff.

Barley Close

The roads will become ‘pedestrian and cycle’ zones under Experimental Traffic

Orders (ETOs) and a decision will then be made on whether to introduce the schemes permanently.

The scheme would ban traffic between 1st September and 31st July at Barley Close from 8.30am to 9.20am and 2.30pm to 3.30pm, Monday to Friday; at King’s Oak from 8.25am to 8.50am and 3pm to 3.30pm; and at Abbotswood from 8.30am to 9am and 2.45pm to 3.30pm.

To have your say on the proposals look under ‘Consultations’ on the council’s website.

It is anticipated that the proposed experimental schemes will come into force in early September.