School streets are where vehicular access is temporarily restricted specifically between school drop off and pick up times during term time. School streets encourage walking, scooting or cycling and reduces congestion outside school.
How a school street works
School streets are installed by using moveable barriers to restrict vehicles from entering a specific street or a section of the street around a participating school, which will temporarily restrict non-essential motor vehicle access at set times in the morning and afternoon. Vehicles will not be allowed entry to the street during the operating times unless they are exempt. A traffic regulation order (TRO) will be put in place, which allows the road to be temporarily closed by law. As a legal document, TRO’s help us manage the highway network for all road users, improving safety and access.
Signs and barriers at the entrances to the school street will inform drivers of the restriction. Advanced warning signs will be installed where needed. Marshals at the barriers will ask drivers to provide a valid permit to permit to access to the street and will only allow authorised vehicles to enter
A School Street will generally operate Monday – Friday term-time only. The operating times will depend on the school and timed to align with when pupils arrive and leave school. Restrictions will be in place for approximately 30-60 minutes in the morning and 30-60 minutes in the afternoon.
Benefits of school streets
The main aim of a school street is to reduce the amount of traffic on streets around a school. There are many benefits for everyone, including
- Increases walking, scooting, cycling and active lifestyles for pupils and parents/carers
- Active travel increases road safety awareness
- Air quality is improved due the reduction in vehicular traffic
- Reduces congestion around schools at peak times to enable social distancing
School streets locations
Six school streets were implemented in the autumn term 2020.
- Clare House Primary School - BR3 6PY (Implemented 2020)
- Poverest Primary School - BR5 2JD (Implemented 2020)
- Hayes Primary School - BR2 7LQ (Implemented September 2021)
The following School Streets are no longer operational:
- Harris Primary Academy Crystal Palace - SE20 8RH (Implemented 2020 - Ceased operation July 2021)
- Harris Primary Academy Orpington - BR5 4LZ (Implemented 2020 - Ceased operation October 2021)
- Pratts Bottom Primary School - BR6 7NX (Implemented 2020 - Ceased operation July 2021)
- St Mary Cray CE Primary School - BR5 4AR (Implemented 2020 - Ceased operation March 2022)
- St Mary’s RC Primary - BR3 5DE (Implemented March 2022 - Ceased operation October 2022)
Temporary school streets are where vehicular access is temporarily restricted specifically for up to 18 months. Due to Covid-19 and the need to socially distance, temporary schools streets were installed at schools across the borough to encourage social distancing. These will be continually reviewed.
School Streets and Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTN)
Due to operational restraints, no school street will be installed in the borough unless the school is prepared to organise and operate them through the use of temporary, manned barriers. The Council does not support LTNs, where local roads are blocked off and traffic diverted onto other roads. Schemes of this type will not be enforced using cameras.
Questions and answers about School Streets
What if I need to drive my car in the street during the restricted hours?
Only residents will be able to access the school street when displaying a permit. As the restriction will be managed by school staff, you will be able to leave the restricted school street and we would encourage you not to enter until after the restriction to ensure the safety of pupils and parents. However, should you need to enter in the school street during the restricted times you will need to display a permit, which will be sent to residents. If you need to drive in the school street during the restriction, please drive carefully as children and parents will be walking in the road.
How do I apply for a permit and how much does it cost?
Residents who live within the school street will be issued with a permit. Permits are only required to enter or drive in the school street during its hours of operation, cars parked for the duration of the school street hours do not need to display a permit. Should they need more than one, they can apply for additional permits by completing the school streets permit form. Permits will then be sent in the post; they are free of charge.
How can it be ensured that motorists driving in the School Street are permitted?
Permits will only be issued to residents and families identified by the school where there is a disability.
What about visitors?
Other drivers who wish to access the school street must arrive or leave before or after the hours of operation.
However, there are some exemptions:
- Emergency services
- Blue Badge holders
- Statutory public services, such as gas/electricity/telephone/broadband companies
- Refuse collectors
- Universal postal service providers, such as the Royal Mail
- Breakdown and recovery vehicles (the so-called 4th emergency service)
- In circumstances where someone requires access to your property for a particular period, e.g. builders or decorators and healthcare workers, it is possible to apply for a temporary permit by completing this form.
How will it be enforced?
The police have powers to enforce the restrictions. Anyone caught driving through the restricted zones whilst the restriction is in force without a valid permit or exemption can be issued with a fixed penalty notice.