A further two schools are set to join Portsmouth’s successful School Streets scheme from September to transform the way pupils, parents and staff travel to school.
School Streets is welcoming King’s Academy College Park and King’s Academy North Parade to the scheme, after it was successfully introduced at St Jude’s Church of England Primary School and Brambles Infant and Nursery School last year as part of the scheme trial. Following a successful debut, the scheme was also rolled out to St John’s Cathedral Catholic and Meon Infant and Junior Schools this year with equally positive results.
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 schools to develop their own schemes. These are to create safer, quieter, more sociable environments around schools, where walking and cycling becomes standard. 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. Additionally, research has proven that children who cycle or walk to school are more alert for the school day than those who drive in.
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 in September, hosted by Portsmouth City 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 seven 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 incredibly pleased that a further two schools are joining School Streets following positive results from our initial schools. We have seen members of the community come together and take pride in encouraging one another to adapt their habits for the benefit of child safety, health and the environment.
“Starting your day with a light physical activity through School Streets encourages our children to engage in activity as standard and start their school day with healthy intentions and movement. As air pollution is a significant issue for Portsmouth, this has also been affected by such a significant decrease in vehicle carbon emissions, so the scheme has been a twofold success. The risk of road accidents has also decreased, allowing parents and guardians more peace of mind for safety on the school run. We look forward to welcoming two new schools to School Streets from September, and hopefully more soon.”
To find out more about School Streets visit travel.portsmouth.gov.uk/schoolstreets or email email@example.com To read the results of last year’s 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.