School road closure in Sheffield hailed a success
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No through traffic is being allowed on Bannerdale Road, between the junctions with Abbeydale Road and Carter Knowle Road, during school drop-off and pick-up times this week.
It is hoped the move will make the streets safer for pupils at Holt House Infant and Carterknowle Junior schools, encourage more children to walk, cycle or scoot to those schools and reduce pollution.
This is the biggest trial so far in Sheffield of School Streets closures, which have been implemented successfully elsewhere in the country.
Should it be successful, the measure could be rolled out at schools across the city, and the early signs are promising according to those involved.
To launch the pilot this morning, pupils, teachers and parents walked between the two schools, accompanied by the Living Streets mascot Strider.
Among those heading down to see how the scheme is working were Sheffield Council leader Julie Dore; Councillor Bob Johnson, the council’s cabinet member for transport; and Paul Blomfield, Labour candidate for Sheffield Central.
Jenny Johnson, who is a parent governor at the Holt House and Carterknowle Schools Federation, said: “It was really good to see so many children walking to school this morning because the closure made it safer and more pleasant for them to do so.
“Staff from Amey (Sheffield Council’s streets contractor) told me it was one of the most positive road closures they’ve done, with no one accosting them or trying to drive through.
“I don’t think there have been any objections because it’s obviously outside a school and people are starting to realise what an important issue air quality is for children.
“Hopefully this will make people think more about how they travel.”
Sheffield Council announced earlier this month that Holt House was one of five schools which would be asked if they wanted to trial the scheme, the others being Nether Edge, Dobcroft Infant, Oasis Fir Vale and Anns Grove.
Details of trials at those other schools have yet to be announced but they are expected to take place over the coming year, after which councillors will assess the impact and consider whether to roll the initiative out more widely.