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Two Portsmouth schools have signed up to a seven week trial of School Streets which will see motorised traffic around the school roads temporarily restricted during drop-off and pick-up times.

Portsmouth City Council is working with walking and cycling charity, Sustrans, to bring the already successful national initiative to the city. The trial will enable children, parents and carers who walk, cycle and scoot to school to enjoy a safer and healthier car-free journey, resulting in cleaner air and better health for children.

Bramble Infant and Nursery School and St Jude’s Church of England Primary School will become the first schools to take part in Phase 1 of the trial over seven weeks between September and November. A taster day, to be held in June, will give parents the opportunity to find out more and help them understand what to expect in the term leading up to the start of the trial. The council are in discussions with the schools selected for Phase 2 of the trial which will launch in February 2022.
Children, parents and carers will be encouraged to make walking or cycling to school a regular part of their school travel routine and leave the car at home if possible.

Bramble School parent, Francesca Salvi, said “This is such a relief. The kids going into schools are developing their road safety skills and this trial will enable them to do so without the dangers posed by cars parking up in front of the school gates or reversing hastily at drop off/pick up times! I walk to school every morning and I am looking forward to a much more relaxed experience as soon as the trial starts.”

The council and participating schools will work closely with residents and local businesses to raise awareness of the trial which will see temporary restrictions introduced for school traffic and through traffic to the road outside the school. Residents, blue badge holders and other vehicles, which allow access for people with disabilities and reduced mobility, will retain access.

Cllr Suzy Horton, Cabinet Member for Children, Families & Education, said “I’m delighted that Bramble and St Jude’s Schools have signed up to take part in the trial. The vehicle restrictions around the schools will enable us to reduce traffic congestion in residential areas, reduce road danger and create cleaner air for everyone to enjoy.

“Children who breathe cleaner air are more likely to develop healthier hearts and lungs and have less risk of developing lifelong health conditions like asthma. By introducing the trial we’ll be able to provide a healthier, safer and welcoming environment for children arriving at the school gates so that they are more alert and ready to enjoy their school day.”

To find out more about School Streets email schoolstreets@portsmouthcc.gov.uk