Wigan school blocks off street to traffic for pupil safety and cleaner air

The latest School Street scheme which aims to make the road outside Wigan schools a safer and cleaner space by blocking them to through traffic is in place.

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 2:26 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 3:03 pm
Ince CE Year 5 pupils Jayden-Kai and Darcie with a message to motorists

Ince CE Primary is the latest to take up the initiative which will see temporary road restrictions in the vicinity of school at pick-up and drop-off times.

It means parents travelling by car are encouraged to find somewhere safe outside of the zone to park and travel the remainder of the journey by foot or bicycle/scooter.

Coun Jenny Bullen, Wigan Council’s cabinet member for children and young people, said: “By creating safer streets we want to encourage more parents and pupils to actively walk or cycle to school.

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“The pandemic has presented us with an opportunity to capitalise on reduced air pollution levels and think creatively about how we might implement a greener recovery.

“The School Street scheme is just one way we are working with local schools to improve air quality within their vicinity and highlight the proven benefits of cycling and walking instead of using the car.”

According to Public Health England, air pollution is the biggest environmental threat to health in the UK and long-term exposure can cause up to 36,000 deaths a year.

The scheme not only brings big benefits to air quality but is a valuable tool in assisting with safety in and around school.

Cones will be put out and signs will be displayed to show the restricted areas, which will be marshalled by school representatives. However, residents and permit holders of the affected streets will be allowed entry. St William's RC Primary School will also be involved in the scheme.

Deputy headteacher Mike Fletcher said: “The school street will make cycling to school a viable option for our children and have numerous health and wellbeing benefits. We would like to thank those involved in making this happen for helping to keep our pupils safe and healthy.”

Some schools may be located on routes not suitable for School Streets due to the type of area outside of their school.

For schools who aren’t able to take part in School Streets there is an alternative scheme called School Walking Bubbles. Contact [email protected] for more on the scheme.

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