First 'School Street' closure for pupils at Ecclesall Primary in Sheffield shortened due to complaints from residents

A Sheffield primary held its first ‘School Street’ event to promote ‘active travel’ but it was shortened by several hours due to residents’ complaints.

By David Walsh
Thursday, 16th December 2021, 1:41 pm

Ecclesall Primary had been planning the closure of side street Huntley Road - which is choked with traffic at school times - for months to celebrate its Platinum Active Travel Award.

HOW WAS IT GOING TO WORK?

The ‘one-off’ event, which turned the road into a playground free from the danger of cars, followed similar activities at schools across the city.

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Playing on Huntley Road, from left: Felix Whitfield, Alex Keep, Robert Kirkman and Ayda Berry with 'Strider' from Living Streets. Picture Scott Merrylees

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It was due to last all day, from 8.15am to 3.45pm, with just a half-hour window for cars between 9am and 9.30am.

Headteacher Emma Hardy hand delivered letters to residents on Huntley Road to inform them of the closure.

WHY WERE THE PLANS CHANGED?

But The Star has learned some complained to the school and the council, leading to a cut in its duration.

The road was closed for 45 minutes at drop-off time and two-and-a-quarter hours in the morning before reopening for three hours until pick-up time from 2.45pm to 3.30pm.

It was hailed a success.

The school’s Facebook page states: ‘Each child had the chance to play out, raising awareness of the active travel agenda and the importance of renewable energy and alternative modes of transport’.

It was organised to celebrate its Platinum Active Travel Award for encouraging parents to minimise car use.

WHAT ARE OTHER SCHOOLS DOING?

Last week, Carfield Primary in Meersbrook became one of the first in Sheffield to make it illegal to drive outside their gates at drop-off and pick-up times in an effort to make the street safer, cut pollution and encourage active travel.

The rules – which are enforced by volunteers who are mostly parents – were made permanent following a trial and mean that, unless exempt, drivers cannot travel down the street between 8am and 9.15am and between 2.30pm and 3.45pm.

Headteacher Hannan Mohammed said the majority of the community were behind it.

She added: “While initially we had a bit of a backlash, this has just now become part of the culture which is a really positive move forward. So we are really proud of how far it’s come and we hope it continues.”

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