Croydon to trial school pedestrian zones

12.00 | 18 July 2017 | | 4 comments

Pedestrian zones will be introduced at three schools in Croydon as part of a six-month trial designed to encourage parents and children to walk more.

Announced by Croydon Council on 14 July, the trial will come into effect from September and is also designed to improve road safety and reduce pollution.

The pedestrian zones will be in place on school days, around the times that children typically arrive and depart.

If it proves successful, the scheme will become regular at the three schools and could be trialled at others in the borough.

To enforce the scheme, Croydon Council will use temporary automatic number plate recognition cameras to confirm whether any vehicles passing through have advance permission.

Residents (and thier visitors) and school staff will be able to enter or leave the zones by applying free of charge for an advance access permit. Owners of cars that pass through the zones without a permit face a £130 fixed penalty notice, which can be reduced to £65 if paid within a fortnight.

Signs will be in place to inform drivers about the pedestrian zones, and council staff will marshal parking and road safety on nearby streets.

Croydon Council has also sent advance letters about the project to parents and local residents, and will ask for feedback during the trial.

Cllr Stuart King, cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “We’re doing lots to make Croydon’s roads less polluted, less congested and more pedestrian-friendly, and this school run pilot is another way of achieving this.

“We want to make Croydon a healthier and safer place for all our residents, especially our youngsters, so I urge as many people as possible in these pilot areas to get out of their cars and walk their children to school.”

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    This is not unlike Edinburgh’s School Streets Scheme. However, I didn’t realise you could have exemptions to Pedestrian Zones? In Edinburgh we have timed No Motor Vehicles zones with exemptions for residents, disabled blue badge holders and emergency vehicles.
    Hope it proves successful!

    Mark Symonds, Edinburgh
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    It will be interesting to see how effective this is an getting people out of their cars. I wonder how they will measure the ‘displacement’ effect for those who will still drive but now need to drive and park elsewhere.

    Pat, Wales
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    Another kick in the teeth for hard-pressed and hard-working parents. A more constructive scheme might have provided temporary drop-off/pick-up points outside (or even inside) the school gates, for those who need or prefer to use their cars for these tasks. There is nothing stopping those who want to walk from walking any day, but those who want to use their cars should be helped, not hindered, from doing so. It is not the role of the council to play God, and the choices and preferences of parents should be catered for, not overridden in this way.

    This sort of careless and thoughtless policy can only widen the rich/poor divide – discriminating, as it does, against those who want/need to drive their kids to and from school. A lot, maybe most, parents do not have enough hours in the day as it is, without being forced to needlessly waste more of that precious resource because of unnecessarily authoritarian social engineering experiments such as this. More time on the school run will mean less working time for many.

    Charles, England
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    I bet the people who live just outside the pedestrian zone will be chuffed to bits with the numbers of vehicles in their streets at the start and finish of the school day.

    David, Suffolk
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