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).