Plan To Ban Cars From Outside Local Schools

Non-resident vehicles would be barred during drop-off and pick-up times

Could the answer to polluted streets outside schools be to ban cars at drop-off and pick-up time altogether? Wandsworth Council wants to set up a pilot scheme doing just this outside five schools.

It is hoped the move would boost air quality levels, as well as encourage safer and more active travel to and from school.

Transport spokesman, Councillor Jonathan Cook, said: “Reducing the impact of vehicle traffic and encouraging parents and children to walk to school are key priorities for the council. If parents and local residents in any affected streets agree to trial schemes, there could be a really beneficial impact on air quality standards around these schools.

“What will also be important is making sure we get the logistics of the scheme right.”

Schools and parents will be asked to back the “school streets” idea at five schools – Penwortham, Hillbrook, Alderbrook, Earlsfield and Furzedown primaries. If they back the scheme, the council will undertake a wider consultation with local residents to get their views.

The ban would not extend to residents of the affected roads or drivers with blue badges.

The council's education and schools spokesman, Councillor Sarah McDermott, said: “We hope parents and local residents support this idea as we believe it will create a much safer and healthier environment for their children on their journeys to and from school.”

According to the British Lung Foundation, children are especially vulnerable to breathing in polluted air because, for their size, they breathe in more air each minute than adults.

Prolonged exposure to air pollution can cause:

  • Children's lungs not working as well as they grow older
  • Children to develop asthma during childhood or as an adult – and if they have asthma already, air pollution can make it worse
  • Wheezing or coughs
  • Lung cancer when they're older, and
  • Infections like pneumonia

School streets could be in place on a trial basis as early as September 2019.

Calum Rutter, Local Democracy Reporter

April 5, 2019