Roads temporarily closed around Barnsley primary schools as part of safety drive

The roads around several primary schools in Barnsley have been temporarily closed off as part of a drive to encourage families to swap cars for walking or cycling.

Today, 22 September, and tomorrow, the roads around Shawlands, Holy Rood and Joseph Locke primary schools -  Shaw Street and Raley Street - will be shut between 7:30am and 4:30pm in a scheme led by Barnsley Council that aims to increase road safety and reduce exposure to harmful vehicle emissions.

Parents are being asked to leave their cars at home or park at least a five-minute walk away from the school gates.

Pupils have been taking part in a series of activities as part of the School Streets project, including road safety and cycling skills sessions. It is the fourth out of 10 planned road closure events that have been funded by a grant from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).  

A cycling skills session on Shaw Street with pupils from Shawlands Primary School and Holy Rood Primary School Credit: Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Dame Sarah Storey, Active Travel Commissioner for South Yorkshire and Britain’s most successful Paralympian, has been attending the events today to show her support.

She said: “School Streets events are some of the most inspiring and uplifting events that I have the privilege of attending.

"Children love movement and activity so to be able to utilise their journey to school as an opportunity for this, without safety fears and traffic fumes, is the way they would design their world given the choice. Building healthy habits for life is so important and the fun of an active journey can be enjoyed by the whole family." 

 Shawlands Primary School Headteacher Duncan Thompson said: “We are delighted to be taking part in our first School Streets road closure trial.

"Shaw Street and surrounding roads often become grid-locked with school run traffic, which negatively impacts local residents. We aim to encourage children and parents to make alternative transport choices to school by making them more aware of the issues around pollution, health and wellbeing, especially from idling cars.  

“As well as being educational for our children, we aim to reclaim the space outside school for families to enjoy - whether through walking, cycling and scooting to school or through play. I am confident that the day will be hugely memorable for everyone involved.”