School Streets trial project starts

Six schools across East Sussex will be making more space outside their gates at pick up and drop off times when pupils return to school this month.

The trial School Streets schemes will restrict non-essential motor traffic at specific times to make more space for social distancing, walking and cycling during the school run. The six-week trial will start on March 15 2021 and finish on May 7 2021.

The schemes are being delivered by East Sussex County Council in partnership with walking and cycling charity Sustrans.

They are being funded through a grant of £1.8m which the council successfully secured from the second tranche of the Department for Transport’s Emergency Active Travel Fund to deliver a programme of longer term projects to support more walking and cycling across the county.

Cllr Claire Dowling, lead member for transport and the environment, said: “I am delighted that we have secured government funding to run trial School Streets schemes at six schools in East Sussex.

“Working with Sustrans, I hope we will be able to show the benefits of these schemes in terms of road safety and air quality as well as providing more space for social distancing, to both the schools taking part and their wider communities.”

The schools taking part in the trial are: Southover C of E Primary School, Lewes; Harbour Primary and Nursery School, Newhaven; Langney Primary Academy, Eastbourne; All Saints C of E Primary School, Bexhill; and Ark Blacklands Primary Academy and All Saints C of E Junior Academy in Hastings.

Sustrans is supporting schools to deliver School Streets as part of its commitment to making it easier for people to walk and cycle.

Helen Kellar from Sustrans said: “We’re really pleased to see East Sussex County Council and schools across the area taking the initiative to put School Streets in place.

“These schemes will help to give families the space they need to get to school safely. As a road free from vehicles could typically gain an extra seven metre wide space for pedestrians, maintaining physical distancing at busy school run times will become much easier.

“Previous School Streets schemes have proved beneficial for road safety and air quality. And they create a cleaner, more pleasant environment outside the school. In turn, School Streets increase the likelihood that children will walk or cycle to school instead of being dropped off in a car.”

For more information on the project, visit: https://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/roadsandtransport/planning/emergency-active-travel-fund/about-the-emergency-active-travel-fund/