Sheffield school bans vehicles from outside entrance at drop off and pick up times in bid to tackle 'carmageddon'
Campaigners have hailed Sheffield Council’s school street closures a success as the authority plans to introduce more across the city in a bid to tackle ‘carmageddon’.
Carfield Primary School, in Meersbrook, is 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 and encourage active travel.
The rules – which are enforced by volunteers who are mostly parents – were made permanent following a trial and it means that, unless exempt, drivers cannot travel down the street between 8am and 9.15am and between 2.30pm and 3.45pm.
Hannan Mohammed, head of Carfield Primary School, said: “I think it’s an absolutely fantastic initiative, it’s created a very good and safe space for children to walk up and to school, it’s created a very calm environment. We now know the children are a lot safer coming out of the school gates.
“The majority of our community have been absolutely behind it and supportive, so we couldn’t have asked for it to be any better than it has been.
“We have had our scooter day and bike day but that has now continued because people will come to school on bikes, scooters and walk or they will park a bit further out.
“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.”
Dame Sarah Storey, active travel commissioner for the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority and Britian’s most successful Paralympian, visited the school with councillor Douglas Johnson, cabinet member for environment, climate change and transport, yesterday to see how the scheme was going.
Sarah said: “From the background information I was sent on this location the road outside of the school had been a bit of a nightmare road in the past. Having spoken to local people, school families and the volunteers here today, the implementation of a School Street has been a huge success, resulting in a quieter road that is much safer.
“It’s not just about the health of children, it’s also about their safety. Nobody wants to see a child hit by a driver so it’s about reminding people driving that they are the invited guests into certain streets and anywhere there is a residential street or there are people, as drivers we have to respect that and slow down - these measures help us to do that.”
She added: “I think these kinds of micro-measures in very specific places for specific reasons are something the community can get behind. We can then build out other measures and interventions, such as modal filters, to compliment this and turn neighbourhoods into places where people can move around confidently without always worrying about conflict with inconsiderate drivers.”
Which schools have street closures in Sheffield?
Carfield is one of four primary schools in Sheffield introducing a long-term school street closure. The others are: Porter Croft, Greystones and Nether Edge.
The council is planning to encourage as many as possible to do the same.
Coun Johnson said: “We really want to be pushing this. This is one of the first schools to be pioneering this in Sheffield and ultimately we want to see all the schools in Sheffield really taking walking and cycling seriously because that’s the only way to live a proper life.”