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Communities urged to find out more and have their say on School Streets trial

Norfolk County Council, 11 March 2022 00:00

Communities around primary schools in Wymondham, Thorpe St Andrew, Costessey and Norwich will have their first opportunity this week to find out more about a scheme to make pupils' daily journeys safer and healthier.

The School Streets concept is being tested for the first time in Norfolk in a trial that would see roads around a number of schools closed during drop off and pick up times each day. The aim is to cut congestion, boost cycling and walking, improve air quality and make the area safer and more pleasant for everyone.

Cllr Martin Wilby, Cabinet Member for Highways, Infrastructure and Transport, said: "We hear so often of the issues that are experienced each day around our schools so we're keen to see if School Streets is something that could work here in Norfolk. The schools taking part in the trial have been selected as they face known congestion and safety issues, have tried a range of methods to ease problems in the past, and this scheme offers a chance to try something new.

"I'd urge local communities, including residents and businesses, to take this opportunity to look at the details of what's being proposed, and let us know what you think, as the feedback we get will help to shape our plans before any trial closures start later in the year."

The School Streets scheme is being run with partners Sustrans who have extensive experience of delivering this initiative in other areas of the UK.

David Burt, Liveable Cities and Towns Coordinator for Sustrans in Norfolk, said: "There are now over 450 School Streets in the UK and rising. School Streets have been trialled in many different places around the country from large cities to smaller towns. The impact of School Streets has been closely monitored and it's clear that there are many positive benefits, from improving safety and congestion issues to increasing active travel and air quality. Sustrans have been key to the delivery of many UK schemes and we are excited to be partnering with Norfolk County Council to trial School Streets in Norfolk. We look forward to working with local people, schools, parents and children to make them a success."

Victoria McConnell, Headteacher of Wensum Junior School, said: "This is a fabulous opportunity to work with our local community to improve the health and happiness of all our children. Working with and engaging local residents is going to be key to getting the project right from the outset."

Over the coming weeks anyone who will be affected by a School Street trial as a parent, resident, business, pupil or school staff will be contacted by the Sustrans team so they can have their say. This contact will be via the school, flyers to local addresses, visits to local businesses, posters and social media. People will be invited to complete a survey to gather their views.

There's also the chance for local people to get involved in the School Streets trial, this could mean volunteering to be a traffic steward, or with other aspects of the scheme. People can find out more, volunteer and have their say on the School Streets website.  (opens new window)

Further information

The School Streets scheme will be trialled for an 18-month period. The trials will be closely monitored to determine whether to make them permanent.

Six schools are involved in the School Streets trial. Five are involved in this initial consultation:

  • Browick Road Primary and Nursery School, Wymondham
  • Dussindale Primary School, Thorpe St Andrew
  • Robert Kett Primary School, Wymondham
  • St Augustine's Catholic Primary School, Costessey
  • Wensum Junior School, Norwich

And consultation is set to get underway for Nelson Infant School, Norwich soon - once additional analysis of traffic patterns is carried out.

Decisions have not yet been made on which roads could be closed. There will be people that the closure will not apply to - these will include people who live within the closure, and pupils, parents and carers with limited mobility. Find out more on the School Streets website.  (opens new window)

As part of the project the team will also be looking at options for each location to help parents adapt to any closures. This could be something like "park and stride" which sees parents and carers parking away from the school (in places such as local businesses and community centres) and walking, cycling or wheeling the rest of the way.

Last modified: 14 May 2024 12:42

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