Two additional schools within the Bradford district are gearing up to launch innovative School Streets schemes, aimed at enhancing safety, curbing traffic congestion, and tackling air pollution surrounding school premises.

The Academy at St James Primary in Allerton and Horton Park Primary in Canterbury are the latest institutions to embrace the School Street concept.

Implemented during peak times of student drop-off and pick-up, a School Street imposes restrictions on vehicle access in the vicinity of a school.

The primary objectives of the initiative include:

  • Establishing a safer, serene, and healthier environment for children during school ingress and egress.
  • Alleviating congestion in the vicinity of schools.
  • Mitigating hazardous driving, parking, and maneuvering around school premises, particularly with the presence of numerous children and families.
  • Diminishing air and noise pollution stemming from running engines.
  • Encouraging and facilitating safer modes of transportation such as walking, cycling, and scooting to school.

With the inclusion of The Academy at St James Primary and Horton Park Primary, the total count of School Streets within the Bradford district reaches 10.

Upon the introduction of a School Street, parents and guardians are encouraged to opt for alternative modes of transport such as walking, scooting, or cycling with their children to and from school whenever feasible. Those compelled to drive are urged to park responsibly on quieter streets farther from the school premises and complete the remainder of the journey on foot.

Given that the primary intent of a School Street is to foster a safer and healthier environment for children, the restrictions are only enforced during term time and are timed to coincide with the start and end of the school day. Entry points will be marked with signage indicating the restricted hours.

Certain exemptions apply, including permits for residents and businesses located within the School Street zone, emergency vehicles, utility vehicles on urgent calls, and vehicles of blue badge holders when their destination lies within the School Street area.

Residents and establishments affected by the implementation of a School Street will receive notifications and invitations to apply for access permits.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport said: “I am pleased to see an increasing number of School Street initiatives being embraced by schools throughout the district.

“Temporarily closing roads outside schools is a great way to create a safer, healthier and more pleasant space for everyone’s benefit. And even if you can’t leave the car at home every day, you will be making a difference every time that you do, and by parking further away from school, you will help to make the air cleaner and roads safer.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, said: “We want to champion the health, social and environmental benefits of walking to school.

“We know families can be put off walking to school because of cars driving at unsafe speeds and parking on pavements and other places they shouldn’t.

“The School Streets scheme removes some of those issues and makes it more attractive for children and their families to decide to walk – or cycle or scoot – to school for at least part of the journey.”

The announcement of two additional School Streets in Bradford follows the recent hosting of the School Streets North Conference at the Great Victoria Hotel in the city, organized by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

The Combined Authority has allocated over £600,000 towards the School Streets programme. To date, 33 School Streets have been implemented across West Yorkshire, with 15 more in the pipeline, supported by funding from Active Travel England.

During the conference held on Friday, March 15th, Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin conveyed the ambition to transform the school run into a positive experience for families, advocating for safe roads around schools devoid of traffic congestion, pollution, noise, and accidents.