group image of members of school staff, council staff and children from school, all posed by school street sign by school

Redbridge School Streets Programme gets underway in four more schools

Published: 10 September 2021

Nearly 3700 children across the borough are enjoying healthier and safer school journeys after Redbridge’s successful School Streets Programme was rolled out at a further four schools at the start of September.

Avanti Court Primary School, Wanstead Church School, Aldersbrook Primary School, and Fullwood Primary School are the newest additions to the programme, with Oakdale Infant and Junior Schools also set to roll-out the scheme from Monday 1 November.

The initiative means streets surrounding the schools are now closed to motor vehicles, for around an hour, at the start and end of the school day, during term time, to eliminate dangerous traffic hotspots near the schools, and make children less vulnerable to road accidents by creating a safer journey to school.

Backed by head teachers and parents, the street entry restrictions also reduce pupils’ exposure to harmful air pollution from vehicle emissions, and encourage more walking, scooting, and cycling to school.

Maria Joseph’s two sons attend Fullwood Primary School. The mum from Poplar Way in Barkingside, said: “As a family we are quite mindful of the impact cars have on the environment, so we really welcome this initiative. It’s great to see more children making use of scooters and cycles. There were far too many cars around the school entrance at drop-off and pick-up times previously, but now it’s complete calm. We’re really enjoying bringing the kids into school without having to worry about them scooting by next to cars.”

Maria’s son Leonel, age 7, added: “I feel really happy. I haven’t been able to scoot to school for a while, and now I get to with my baby brother and that’s the best. It’s a really good idea to stop the cars coming near the school because it makes me feel safe on my scooter.”

Cabinet Member for Environment and Civic Pride, Cllr Jo Blackman, said: “I’m really pleased to welcome the new additions to Redbridge’s School Streets Programme, and want to thank those that have adjusted their travel route around these schools, or are using greener modes of transport to support the initiative.

“These new school streets represent another important step towards encouraging healthier travel choices, and making the journey to school safer for children. It also forms part of our on-going activities with local communities to tackle climate change in the borough.

“Across the borough, we provide schools with a wide range of support to champion schemes to improve air quality, active travel and road safety including cycle training, pedestrian skills training, and behaviour change activities. These encourage pupils and their parents to walk, cycle and scoot to school, rather than being driven.

“It takes all of us working together to create a cleaner and greener Redbridge that we can enjoy now, and for future generations.”

Leader of Redbridge Council, Cllr Jas Athwal, said: “Children’s safety, from vehicles and pollution, is at the heart of the School Streets Programme, and I was thrilled to see the positive impact that this is having for pupils at Fullwood Primary School on Wednesday. “With calmer and quieter streets during school pick-up and drop-off times, children are able to scoot and cycle safely”

Executive Headteacher of Fullwood Primary School, Danvir Visvanathan, said: “Children have a right to travel to school safely and be protected from the harmful effects of air pollution and the School Streets Programme is enabling this to happen.

“The traffic congestion previously experienced at drop-off and pick-up times was of immense concern, but the restrictions in place now significantly reduce the risks to children walking, cycling, and scooting to school.

“We have already seen a big difference in the way in which our pupils arrive confidently at school on their scooters and bicycles. It is also very good for their physical well-being.”

Signs are in place to notify drivers that school street zones can only be accessed by cyclists and pedestrians at the displayed times, unless vehicles have an exemption.

Non-exempt vehicles entering the school streets zones when restrictions are in force will be identified by traffic enforcement cameras and issued with a fine.

If you are a resident or business located in a school streets zone, you must apply for a FREE exemption for your vehicle to avoid getting fined. 

For more information about Redbridge School Streets, and to apply for an exemption, visit

www.redbridge.gov.uk/school-streets

Child Friendly Redbridge

The Redbridge School Streets Programme is just one of the ways the council is working towards becoming a Child Friendly Redbridge and delivering on the priorities of the borough’s children and young people.

As part of UNICEF’s Child Friendly Cities and Communities programme, children from across Redbridge have told the council about the importance of clean air, tackling climate change and improving road safety.

School Streets is an example of children shaping the council’s decision making processes and shaping council policies, embodying the key principles of the Child Friendly Redbridge programme.

Find out more about Child Friendly Redbridge at www.redbridge.gov.uk/childfriendly

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