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A further three schools are set to join Portsmouth's successful School Streets trial this spring and transform the way pupils, parents and staff travel to school.

Following in the footsteps of successful trials at St Jude’s C of E Primary and Bramble Infant schools in 2021, the additional schools – St John’s Cathedral Catholic Primary, Meon Infant and Meon Junior schools – will join Phase 2 starting from 16 May. The trial is supported by Portsmouth City Council and Sustrans.

School Streets work by limiting motorised traffic from the road or roads around schools during term-time at drop-off and pick-up. Temporary barriers managed by trained stewards allow people who walk and cycle to easily access the roads, as well as essential vehicles, such as emergency services, school transport, blue badge holders, and vehicles prearranged with the head teacher. Residents living on the street and their carers will still have access to the road.

Working with walking and cycling charity Sustrans, the council is supporting head teachers at the three schools to develop their own trials, which create safer, quieter, more sociable environments around schools, where walking and cycling becomes the norm. Children and their parents and carers will enjoy a more pleasant school run with cleaner air, resulting in better health for school communities and residents who live close to the schools.

Parents, carers and residents can find out more about how the trials will work at each school by joining an online information and Q & A session this month, hosted by the council’s safer travel team and Sustrans

During the trials children can have fun on the school run by stomping to school with the Pompey Monster Stomp to School Challenge. The challenge encourages children to stomp (walk, cycle or scoot) at least three times a week on their way to or from school. Children who take part will earn in-app challenge badges, and unique, collectible, Pompey Monster keyrings, made from recycled tyres. There are eight keyrings to collect, one for each of the Pompey Monsters, including a special bonus keyring for children who complete the seven-week challenge.

Cllr Suzy Horton, Cabinet Member for Children, Families & Education, said “I’m delighted that we’re able to support another three schools to take part in School Streets trials. The past couple of years have been particularly challenging for our children and their school communities so I’m really keen that we continue to support schools to take steps to improve mental and physical health.

“School Streets encourage children and parents to improve their health by increasing active journeys, which in turn develops cleaner air around the schools. Add this to reduced risks of accidents and it’s clear to see why School Streets have had so much success up and down the country.

“The feedback from last autumn’s trials at St Jude’s and Bramble was resoundingly positive and we’re now looking at more permanent solutions for those schools. After helping out with stewarding at Bramble School I can highly recommend volunteering to parents, friends and local residents. Developing a team of keen volunteers is vital to extending a School Street past the trial and will continue to keep the roads safe for our young people”

To find out more about School Streets visit travel.portsmouth.gov.uk/schoolstreets or email schoolstreets@portsmouthcc.gov.uk To read the results of recent surveys with parents, school staff and residents from St Jude’s C of E Primary and Bramble Infant schools visit yourcityyoursay.portsmouth.gov.uk/school-streets-and-stomp-to-school 

Would you like to get involved with School Streets? Portsmouth City Council and Sustrans are looking for volunteer stewards to help out during the trial and beyond. You would be responsible for setting up and removing temporary lightweight barriers and signage at road junctions near the school during the trial to allow children, parents and carers to walk and cycle safely.

You’ll need to be good with children and be happy to answer queries from parents and the public. This position will involve some light carrying duties. Contact schoolstreets@portsmouthcc.gov.uk to apply.

* To have a safe journey to school please remember that private e-scooters are illegal. It is illegal to ride a rental e-scooter with more than one person on it and they can only be rented by people over 18 who hold at least a provisional licence.