Islington is leading the way, putting in traffic-free streets around schools
Islington was the top-scoring borough for School Streets in this Healthy Streets Scorecard measure, with 16% of its schools temporarily closed to motor traffic during school opening and closing times. Although Croydon has more School Streets – 16 to Islington’s 13 – Islington borough has the highest proportion of its schools with School Street schemes in place out of all the London Councils.
Islington borough’s first School Street opened in November 2018 and the Council is planning to have 39 School Streets in total by the end of this year. It is committed to rolling out the programme to all primary schools in the borough, where possible, by 2022 to improve air quality and road safety. The feasibility of expanding the programme to secondary schools on local roads will also be considered.
Islington Council reports that in February it was the first council in the UK to collect and publish air quality data at all its primary and secondary schools. It started monitoring NO2 levels outside schools in 2018 and found that, although there appears to have been an overall improvement compared to modelled figures for 2016, three schools were over the legal objective of 40 ug/m3, with three more schools at the very top of this limit.
Councillor Rowena Champion, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Environment and Transport, says: “Air pollution is a major health emergency facing local people, and we know that children are particularly vulnerable to its damaging effects.
“That is why we are determined to take bold action and be at the forefront of efforts to clean the air that young people breathe.
“The borough’s School Streets cut pollution by reducing traffic outside of schools, while reducing road danger and making it easier and safer for children to walk, cycle or use scooters to get to school.
“More action is needed to tackle air pollution in Islington and that is why we are committed to rolling out Britain’s biggest programme of School Streets to make the school gate a healthier, safer place for all.”
Cllr Rowena Champion tells the Healthy Streets Scorecard about School Streets in Islington borough
Hanover Primary School
Since we published our inaugural Scorecard, Hanover Primary School has gained a School Street on Noel Road, from Danbury Street to St Peter’s Street. It was overwhelmingly supported by 81% of respondents to a community consultation last July.
The road is closed temporarily Monday to Friday at school opening and closing times during term time.
Rachel Hanks, a parent of a 10-year-old student at Hanover Primary School, said: “Before we had the school street, the traffic was pretty bad outside the school and there was a lot of double parking on and around the zigzags. Things have calmed down massively since the signs were put up. It’s really transformed our 5 to 7-minute walk to school and it’s lovely to have no cars idling their engines outside the school.”
School streets in Islington borough:
Ambler Primary School
Ashmount Primary School
Drayton Park Primary School
Duncombe Primary School
Rotherfield Primary School
St Mark’s C of E Primary School
St John Evangelist Catholic Primary School
Winton Primary School
Yerbury Primary School
Hanover Primary School
Hugh Myddelton Primary School
Moreland Primary School
St Peter and St Paul Catholic Primary School
Schools set to benefit from school streets by end of 2020:
Blessed Sacrament Primary School
The Children’s Upper House School
Copenhagen Primary School
Gillespie Primary School
The Gower School
Grafton Primary School
Hargrave Park Primary School
Highbury Quadrant Primary School
Hungerford Primary School
Laycock Primary School
New North Academy
New River College Primary & The Bridge School
Pooles Park Primary School
Prior Weston Primary School and Children’s Centre
Sacred Heart Primary School
St Andrew’s (Barnsbury) C of E Primary School
St John’s Highbury Vale C of E Primary School
St Jude and St Paul’s C of E Primary School
St Mary Magdalene Academy
St Mary’s C of E Primary School
St Paul’s Steiner School
Thornhill Primary School
Tufnell Park Primary School
Vittoria Primary School
Whitehall Park School
Enabling young people to walk and cycle to school
I first tried to cycle to school when I was fourteen – something I thought would be simple and easy. On my way, I realised