Three Milton Keynes schools to trial carless safety zones

Councillors hope the scheme will improve pupil safety and air quality surrounding the schools

By James Lowson
Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 3:33 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 3:36 pm

Three schools in Milton Keynes will pilot pedestrian and cycle-only zones surrounding their premises.

In an attempt to improve road safety and air quality surrounding the facilities three schools in Bletchley will close streets at the start and finish of the school day.

It is hoped without the option of getting a lift to the school gates, this will encourage pupils to walk or cycle to their place of education.

Chestnuts Primary School

Chestnuts Primary School, Cold Harbour C of E School and The Premier Academy have signed up to take part in the pilot scheme.

Both before and after school the roads directly surrounding these schools will be closed to motor vehicles, councillors anticipate these streets will be closed roughly an hour and a half each day.

Councillors Mick Legg and Lauren Townsend said: “Residents have shared their concerns about how busy the streets can be during school drop off and pick up times, so I am pleased that we are trialling this new method to see if we can make our community even cleaner and safer for children and families.”

Councillors advise they analysed the impact closing roads would have on congestion, bus routes and local businesses, before settling on three Bletchley schools.

Councillor Zoe Nolan said: “The Labour and Lib Dem Progressive Alliance wants to make Milton Keynes a healthy city, while ensuring that children and young people are protected from harm.

"This trial will give us the opportunity to see if limiting motor traffic will encourage more active modes of transport, like walking and cycling, to boost physical wellbeing while also hopefully improving air quality around the schools. We hope that this trial is a success so that we can potentially roll School Streets out to other areas across the city.”

Chestnuts Primary School is first up to trial the project on January 31 2022 when St George's Road will be closed between 8:15am-8:55am and from 2:45pm-3:30pm.

Cold Harbour C of E School and The Premier Academy will both launch their pilot schemes on February 14.

Closing Highland Close and Tiffany Close between 8:20am-9am and from 2:45pm-3:30pm on school days.

The schemes will run for a maximum of 18 months.

Councillors Mohammed Khan, Ed Hume and Emily Darlington, said: “Children should be safe when walking to school, and their parents shouldn’t have to worry about

cars whizzing past the school gates.

"We hope that this trial will be welcomed by all, and will provide a healthier and safer environment for our youngest residents.”