School road safety schemes set to become permanent

Enfield Council wants to make temporary traffic measures outside some schools permanent, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

A school streets scheme outside Worcesters Primary School in Goat Lane, Enfield
A school streets scheme outside Worcesters Primary School in Goat Lane, Enfield

Enfield Council is ramping up a programme designed to boost road safety for children travelling to and from schools.

The council aims to roll out two ‘school streets’ schemes every year and turn some of the twelve temporary projects introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic into long-term initiatives.

School streets involve closing roads near schools to motor vehicles at pick-up and drop-off times for pupils, to improve safety for those walking and cycling.

Speaking at a meeting of the environment forum on Tuesday, Enfield Council’s healthy streets director Richard Eason said the authority was “ramping up” its ambitions on school streets, having already rolled out 14 projects.

He said the authority had a commitment to deliver two per year but wanted to roll out a “handful” more this year.

The council hopes to make the temporary school streets introduced during the pandemic into permanent schemes where appropriate, Richard added. Ultimately, it aims to bring the measures forward at every school that is interested.

Conservative councillor Lindsay Rawlings, the shadow cabinet member for environment, asked if there had been any problems with the school streets measures that had already been rolled out.

Richard said the council had been gathering feedback from residents and schools and was looking to produce a report that would recommend which of the schemes should be made permanent. He told the meeting the information would be available by the autumn.

Cllr Rawlings suggested it could be “virtually impossible” to roll out the schemes at some schools and asked what the council would do in those circumstances.

In response, Richard said he suspected it would be “really difficult” to implement road closures around some schools but this did not rule out introducing other safety measures.

These may include widening footways, adding rain gardens and other initiatives designed to calm traffic and prevent parking on the zig-zag lines close to school gates, he explained.