School Streets – for a safer and healthier school run
Wirral Council are working with local schools across the borough to introduce ‘School Streets’ to help make the school run safer, healthier and happier for children, families and the wider community.
What is a School Street?
A School Street is a stretch of road outside a school that is temporarily closed to traffic during school drop off and pick-up times. This then limits traffic in the road outside the school at key times and creates a predominantly car free zone.
The scheme encourages travelling to school by walking and cycling or scooting and will in turn reduce the build-up of traffic outside the school gates, improve air quality and create a safer and more pleasant environment for everyone around schools.
How does it work?
The scheme will be delivered through an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO) and will be introduced for a trial period of 18 months. Within this time, it will be decided whether to make the scheme permanent. Each School Street may operate slightly differently to each other to help decide which method works best for the school and the local community.
A dedicated Active Travel Officer will help introduce and support the School Street and signs will be introduced to show where the School Street zone is and to tell motorists of the hours of operation.
Where are the School Streets going to be?
Three schools will be trialled to begin with. These schools will be:
- Greenleas Primary School, Wallasey (launched in November 2021)
- Christchurch Primary School, Birkenhead
- Liscard Primary School, Liscard
- St George's Primary School, Wallasey
- Raeburn Primary School, Bromborough
How the scheme will be funded
The project is being funded by the Combined Authority Transport Plan Capital Programme and Department for Transport Active Travel Fund Tranche 2.
Have your say
You can share your ideas by visiting the council’s Have Your Say website and clicking on the school that you are interested in, once the pilot scheme has launched, and taking part in the survey.
The survey asks for your comments and whether you support or object to the scheme. It will be open for 6 months after the School Streets has been introduced at each of the schools.
Each of the schools will trial the scheme for a total of 18 months.
All the ideas and comments shared will help the council to decide if it is working for the school and the local community and will achieve the goals of creating a calmer environment, reducing traffic build-up and improving air quality.
Can I still drive on a School Street?
Vehicles will not be allowed to enter the School Street when it is in operation (during school drop-off and pick up times) unless exempt.
People who are exempt, include:
- vehicles displaying a valid School Streets permit
- Blue badge holders residing at or visiting properties within the restricted roads
- school buses and school transport services serving the school.
- public transport and taxis
- emergency services, doctors on call, district nurses, carers and support workers working at the properties on the restricted roads
- statutory public services/utilities (gas, electricity, water, telecoms companies) working at the properties on the restricted roads
- tradespeople serving properties within the restricted roads
- delivery and postal services
Motorists are required to drive carefully during the School Street operation times. Residents who live on the School Street (or require access to their property) will be exempt but will need to apply for a permit. All residents will receive a letter from the council to explain this and how to apply.
When will the School Street be in operation?
The operational hours of the School Street will be indicated on the road signs at the school. Each of the schools may differ slightly from each other in their operation times.
Where can I park to drop my child or children off?
Roads in the area that are not a School Street can be used to park during the School Street operational hours but please be considerate of residents and existing parking restrictions.
How long will the rules be in place?
Wirral Council are working with each of the schools to introduce the School Streets scheme for a trial period of 18 months. As it is a trial, each of the School Streets will be reviewed throughout this time and if the trials are considered successful, Wirral Council will look to make the School Streets, and therefore the rules, permanent.
What about the weekends and during the holidays?
The scheme will only operate during the week, Monday to Friday, during school drop-off and pick-up times. The restrictions will operate during term-time only but please note that these dates may vary year on year.
What if I can’t walk or cycle to school?
Wirral Council understand that it is not always possible for everyone to walk, cycle or scoot to or from school so certain people and vehicles will be exempt from the School Street restrictions. The council will work with the schools involved and their community to make sure that alternative suggestions are considered.