Children and their local communities will benefit from the launch of a new pilot School Streets scheme in Oxfordshire.
School Streets aim to improve road safety, boost cycling and walking and reduce pollution – by closing the roads around schools to traffic at pick-up and drop-off times.
The schemes are being delivered by Oxfordshire County Council in partnership with walking and cycling charity Sustrans.
The six-week pilot scheme got underway at two schools on 22 March, with a third set to start in May. If the trials are deemed a success by the schools, they will be extended for a further 18 months.
On roads where School Streets are trialled, orange and white cones or barriers are being placed along the road to stop cars from going through, with signs telling drivers not to park in the area to keep the children safe.
Marshalls are on hand to enable residents to access or leave their property.
Cllr Yvonne Constance, cabinet member for environment, said: “We know that without safe and low-traffic environments, many children simply won’t have the confidence to cycle.
“School Streets are a great policy in enabling a travel revolution to improve air quality and physical activity levels of school children and their families.”
Sarah Leeming, Sustrans head of delivery, said: “We’re really pleased to be supporting Oxfordshire County Council to trial the School Streets initiative.
“School Streets schemes in other parts of the country have proved beneficial for road safety and air quality. And they create a cleaner, more pleasant environment outside the school.
“In turn, School Streets increase the likelihood that children will walk or cycle to school instead of being dropped off in a car, so they get to school feeling alert and ready for a day of learning.”