Results: interim reports

The Healthy Streets Scorecard (HSS) ranks London Boroughs on how healthy their streets are according to nine indicators. By combining the indicator scores, each borough is given a final Healthy Streets score. The HSS coalition has decided to provide a data update on two input indicators before the end of 2020 as some boroughs have made significant change to one, or both, of these indicators. The interim data is a stand-alone update and not an update to the overall scores.

This page sets out detailed interim results for the input indicators:

School Provision: School Streets

20mph Speed Limits (20mph Speed Limits indicator will be updated soon)

School Provision:
School Streets Interim Report (November 2020)

The School Provision indicator measures the amount of action in each borough on the Transport for London STARS programme and on the implementation of School Streets. These two measures are combined to create a score for the borough. Since the July 2020 Healthy Streets Scorecard report was published there has been a swift uptake in School Streets across London. For this reason a decision was taken to publish interim data on this part of the metric. This report summarises the expansion of School Streets by borough and highlights which boroughs have implemented the most and fewest.

Guidance on and funding for School Streets

Following the period of nationwide Covid-19 lockdown and as London schools prepared to reopen from 1 June, guidance was issued from Transport for London (TfL) to implement School Streets not only to encourage walking, scooting or cycling, improve air quality and reduce road danger outside schools, but also to provide additional space outside schools so that parents/carers can drop off and collect children while safely social distancing. The guidance recommended a rapid delivery of School Streets as an emergency measure using Experimental Traffic Orders. TfL has funded the creation of School Streets across London through its Streetspace for London plan and local authorities could trial these measures for up to 18 months after which time a decision is made on whether to make the School Street permanent.

In July, the UK Government released ‘Gear Change. A bold vision for cycling and walking‘, a document that defines the actions required to put active travel at the centre of policies on transport, planning and health. The standards are to be enforced by the establishment of a government body, Active Travel England, and led by a new national Cycling and Walking Commissioner. The document made specific commitments regarding School Streets: “We will create more “school streets”” and detailed the reasons. “The schemes can reduce the number of people driving their children to school by up to a third and reduce the risk of casualties by reducing the chance for vehicle / pedestrian / cycle conflict.”

Defining a School Street for this research

The Healthy Streets Scorecard defines School Streets as streets leading to school gates which are closed to general traffic, under a Traffic Management Order, at a minimum on school days before opening and following school closing times. Each school benefiting from a School Street closure is included in our calculation, as more than one school can benefit from one School Street implementation (if there is more than one school on the same street).

  • Already implemented: School Streets that are within a trial period and those already made permanent are included together as ‘implemented’ or ‘in operation’ as of 31 October 2020.
  • Planned: Planned School Streets are those specified by a council where the school has been named and a start date is set to begin after 31 October 2020, or yet to be confirmed. (Not included are schools that are not specified by name and implementation date, where the local authority has stated “all schools will be school streets”.) The School Streets metric is calculated by dividing the total number of schools on School Streets in a borough by the total number of primary and secondary schools. (For more detail see Methodology).

Research results

  • In the 2020 Healthy Streets Scorecard, released in July 2020, 81 School Streets had been implemented London-wide.
  • Since the Covid-19 emergency response School Streets have proliferated rapidly as part of the package of measures boroughs have implemented in response to the crisis and between the Scorecard data published in July 2020 and 31 October 2020 a further 302 School Streets have been implemented, bringing the total of schools benefiting from School Streets to 383. This is a London-wide average of 12.4% of schools with School Streets now operating.
  • Only 24 secondary schools in London have School Streets, representing 0.8% of the capital’s schools. Of the implemented school streets, only 6.3% are at secondary schools despite secondary schools making up 21.5% of all schools in London. Only five more are currently planned.
  • In addition, there are firm plans for a further 68 school streets which will bring the total to 451 School Streets. Once these are implemented, the average proportion of schools on School Streets in London will be 14.6%.
  • The three boroughs with the highest proportion of their schools on School Streets are Merton (40.3%), Islington (40%), and Hackney (35.5%). Hackney, with 39 School Streets implemented in total, has the most of any London borough and indeed any local authority in the UK. At the other end of the scale, there are three boroughs which have not yet implemented any School Streets – Barnet, Bexley, and City of London. Barking and Dagenham implemented five School Streets after 31 October (when the report was compiled) and City of London has one planned.

Making the changes permanent

The rapid implementation of School Streets as a Covid-19 emergency response means that 85% of the School Streets currently operating or planned are on a trial basis (of a maximum of 18 months). The Healthy Streets Scorecard coalition recommend and strongly encourage local authorities to make all temporary School Streets permanent, as part of a package of schemes, to maintain the:

  • reductions in motor traffic, congestion, and road danger around schools
  • reductions in motor traffic emissions contributing to climate change
  • reductions in noise pollution
  • reductions in inequality and poor health outcomes for those living in the most deprived areas who are less likely to have access to a car
  • improved air quality
  • increased physical activity levels and associated health benefits from physical activity
  • development of young people’s independence by allowing more children to walk or cycle at least part of their journey to school without their parents, helping to address the trend towards the increasing dependence of young people on their parents to travel
  • ability of people to physically distance.

 

The Healthy Streets Scorecard coalition also urges local authorities to implement School Streets for secondary schools. Children and teenagers in secondary schools will often make their way to school independently and it is paramount to reduce road danger for students travelling on foot or by bike. Secondary schools also have large pupil numbers on their roll therefore students require additional space at the gates for social distancing when arriving and departing school.

The Healthy Streets Scorecard coalition recommends councils roll traffic-free schemes out to every primary and secondary school in the capital where possible. Where School Streets aren’t possible, for example, at schools located on main roads, alternatives should be implemented such as bus lanes, cycle tracks, pavement widening or car parking bay removal.

Methodology

Primary and secondary schools have been identified by their Unique Reference Numbers (URNs). Schools with separate infant and junior schools and with different URNs have been included separately.
The total amount of schools in a borough (used to work out the proportion of schools with School Streets/total schools) have been identified from the Department for Education’s register for educational establishments in England and Wales, Edubase, and restricted to:

  1. All schools in London
  2. Excluding children’s centres; universities or educational establishments where the maximum age is over 20; ‘other’ educational establishments (e.g. secure units or learning support centres); or virtual organisations (e.g. a sixth form consortium)
  3. Excluding establishments where the number of pupils is <20

 

The data on School Streets has been compiled by Healthy Streets Scorecard and Mums for Lungs.

The boroughs with the highest proportion of schools on School Streets that are in operation or planned are Islington (54.7%), Hackney (45.5%) and Merton (41.7%). Hackney has implemented or announced plans to have 50 schools on School Streets, Islington 41 schools on School Streets, and Brent 34 schools on School Streets.

Merton showed the biggest increase in schools with School Streets implemented of 36.4% (from 3.9% to 40.3% of schools). Other boroughs to make significant increases were Brent (29% increase), Hackney (27.5% increase) and Islington, Hounslow and Sutton all increased by 24%. In most boroughs there were moderate to small percentage increases due to a small set of School Street trials.

The graphs below show Inner and Outer London boroughs differentiated by colour (light blue = Inner London, dark blue = Outer London). This helps show how boroughs are doing compared to other Inner or Outer boroughs. It is interesting to note both Inner and Outer London boroughs are implementing School Streets. Four Outer London (Merton, Brent, Hounslow, and Sutton) and two Inner London boroughs (Islington and Hackney) have over 20% of schools with School Streets in their borough. The two boroughs with no planned or implemented School Streets, and the five boroughs with the lowest proportion of School Streets, are all Outer London boroughs.

20mph Speed Limits

Update coming soon.