A leading active travel charity is calling on local authorities in England to create space for families to social distance as children start returning to school – by banning motor vehicles.
Living Streets says encouraging parents to walk to school is an important part of ensuring roads around schools aren’t ‘overwhelmed’ with cars.
The charity is calling on local authorities to use the £250m emergency active travel fund, announced by the Government earlier this month, to implement ‘School Streets’.
School Streets see cars banned from outside school gates at peak drop off and pick up times, in a bid to alleviate congestion and make the walk to school safer.
Living Streets says introducing School Streets will also free up space for families to socially distance.
Jenni Wiggle, interim chief executive, Living Streets said: “As schools plan their return, encouraging parents to walk to school will be an important part of ensuring roads around schools aren’t overwhelmed with cars.
“It’s incredibly important we choose healthy and active ways to travel. Not only for our own health and wellbeing, but to protect the strain on the NHS. It’s very important that we don’t replace one crisis with crises around inactivity, air pollution and climate change.
“We know from our work with schools across the UK that families are put off walking to school by traffic, road danger and air pollution. By removing cars, we remove these barriers.
“In these times, it’s even more important to create space around school gates so families can physically distance.”
Living Streets is also urging local authorities to implement a range of other measures to make walking safer, including automatic crossings, reduced wait times and increased green man times.