School welcomes ‘School Streets’ road safety initiative
01 Jul 2021
Schoolchildren at a Cramlington primary school will benefit from a road safety pilot aimed at promoting more walking and cycling opportunities and helping to alleviate road safety concerns and reduce congestion.
Following a successful trial in 2019, Hareside Primary School in Whitelea Glade will now take part in a national ‘School Streets’ initiative which will create pedestrian and cycle only zones during school pick up and drop off times.
The streets that surround the school will be closed to motor vehicles, unless exempt, during specific times as part of an 18-month trial. The trial streets include Harnham Grove and Harwood close which are closed to vehicles during 8.15am-9.15am and 2.45pm -3.45pm to allow a safer route to and from school for pupils and their families.
Jacqueline Mowat, Hareside Primary School Headteacher, said: "One of the schools’ priorities is to help our children and families live healthy and active lives, and this scheme supports us in doing just that.
“We are encouraging our children and families to use this as an opportunity to walk, cycle or scoot safely to and from school.
“We will continue to work with the local authority and our local community to ensure this scheme works for the best outcomes for all.”
Signage will be in position from Monday 5 July to inform those travelling in motor vehicles of the new restrictions and of the ‘park and stride’ options available on Lancastrian Road and Dewley Court for those parents and carers who do need to use a car.
One of four in the county, the scheme is a partnership between the school and the County Council - and gives children the chance to enjoy a safer, car-free space as they walk to and from school.
Councillor Guy Renner-Thompson, cabinet member with responsibility for children’s services, said: “We are always looking at new ways in which we can further protect our children and young people when travelling to school, whilst also considering ways in which we can also support their health and wellbeing.
“A child’s development is extremely important. Having fresh air and the opportunity to exercise on their way to and from school plays a key role in that development. I look forward to hearing from the pupils, parents and staff of the school in the coming months what they think about it.
I want to give thanks to those in the local community and the schools parents and carers for supporting this scheme.”
Pupils and their parents have been encouraged to travel to school by foot, bike, scooter or public transport.
Emergency services, those who hold a disabled badge and residents living in the affected streets are exempt.
Councillor Mark Swinburn, local ward member for Cramlington village, said: “I am pleased to see that Hareside Primary School are trialling this scheme.
The streets can often be very busy around peak times, which in turn brings safety concerns for the pupils, school staff and the local community.
I look forward to seeing the benefits this brings for all.”