Street safe: Stockport school pilots road closures to get more pupils walking and cycling

Trial closing roads around seven schools in Stockport. Credit: ITV News

New measures could be put in place around seven schools in Stockport in a bid to get more pupils walking and cycling to school.

The 'School Streets' scheme has been trialling road closures around the school during drop-off and pick-up time, with the aim to make the streets around schools safer and healthier for pupils and parents.

It is hoped that the restricted access will encourage more walking, cycling and scooting to school.

Bradshaw Hall Primary School in Cheadle Hulme is one of the schools that have volunteered to take part.

Year 6 pupils Lucy and Sophie say they hope the trial will become permanent.

Lucy said: "It makes it easier to walk down the road, because there aren't any parked cars."

Sophie said: "It makes my mum a bit happier because I can walk to school more safely."

Bradshaw Hall Primary School in Stockport is piloting a School Street scheme.

Nicola Tunstall's children are pupils at Bradshaw Hall Primary. She volunteered to be a marshal for the scheme a few mornings a week, which involves working out who is allowed onto the road and ensuring people are aware of alternative access and where people can park.

She said: "I think it's something that can only really have positive outcomes for our children.

"I think there's a huge emphasis on environmental factors, we used to walk past cars with their engines running just sitting there waiting for children."

How does it work?

  • Access to some roads around the schools are closed to general and school traffic so parents/guardians need to either leave their car at home and try a healthier and more active school run or park their car further away and then walk, cycle or scoot the rest of the way.

  • Roads are closed for short periods at the start and end of the school day and only when the road signs and cones are in place.

  • Residents and essential visitors, such as care-workers, can still use the roads but need to show a permit provided by Stockport Council or, where applicable, their NHS staff pass.

  • Blue Badge holders are given access to get into the school. Emergency vehicles are also given automatic access.

  • All other traffic will be turned back by volunteer marshals in high-visibility clothing and manage the road closures using 'Road Closed' signs and cones.

The children have been encouraged to get more active.

The seven schools in Stockport taking part are:

  • Adswood Primary

  • Bradshaw Hall Primary

  • Cheadle Primary

  • Our Lady’s Primary (Edgeley)

  • St Joseph’s Primary

  • St Mary’s Primary

  • St Matthew’s Primary (Edgeley)

The schools have volunteered because they have identified issues with parked cars and want to provide a safer environment, with improved air quality, and increase the daily level of physical activity with their pupils and promote more social interaction.

Councillor Keith Holloway, Cabinet Member for Public Health at Stockport Council said: "The Schools Street scheme makes it so much easier for parents to help children to walk, cycle or scooter to school along a really quiet road."

Headteacher of Bradshaw Hall Primary Chris Bagnall said the scheme has gone well so far, and hopes it will become permanent.

Chris said: "I think it's fair to say that the impact of the trial has been immediate, the reduction of cars has meant that children have been able to use the street as a pedestrianised street.

"We've seen an increase in children walking to school, biking to school, scooting, which consequently, will promote a healthier lifestyle."

Teachers say they've already seen the benefits from the trial. Credit: ITV News

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