Published Friday, 18th June 2021
Councillor Manuel Abellan’s column for Sutton Scene, Friday 18 June 2021
Over the last few months the Council has worked closely with 11 local schools to develop a new ‘School Streets’ programme. We are committed to making the streets outside our schools safer and healthier for our children and I am thrilled that the majority of the 1,500 parents, staff and residents who took part in our recent consultation agreed.
A ‘School Street’ is a road outside or around a school with temporary traffic restrictions at school drop-off and pick-up times only. Residents living in the affected roads and emergency services continue to have access all day.
We want to help families switch to walking and cycling to/from school by making it clear that motor vehicles should not be outside school gates at start and finish times. Our proposed School Streets would help make the road outside safer and calmer for pupils, parents and staff, as well as encourage more sustainable modes of transport to and from school.
This is important as children in London are five times more exposed to air pollution when travelling to primary schools than at any other time of the day, and more than 1 in 3 of all children’s deaths on roads nationally in 2018 also took place during the morning and afternoon school runs.
As part of this new programme, Sutton is one of the first London boroughs to join the ‘Breathe London’ trial, meaning that air quality and traffic monitoring sensors will be installed at the schools. This will provide data to enable us to gain a deeper understanding of different transport modes, movement patterns and their impact on air quality.
The Environment & Sustainable Transport Committee next week will be asked to agree the implementation of these 11 School Streets. We will ensure that affected residents, businesses and other key local interested parties are involved and kept informed.
Councillor Manuel Abellan
Chair of the Environment and Sustainable Transport Committee