Danger and pollution at the school gates

There are too many cars on the Enfield school run. We’re all aware of how much more traffic there is in term time than in school holidays. Also, many of Enfield’s school streets become danger zones during school run hours, with parents’ cars clogging narrow streets, reversing and even driving on the pavement. This causes air pollution at the school gates and puts families off walking, scooting or cycling to school, as well as being unpleasant for residents.

A solution used by more and more councils across London is “school streets” – traffic bans on school streets at the start and end of each school day (residents are exempt). The results:

  • Cleaner air
  • Safety for children
  • More families choosing to walk, scoot and cycle to school
  • Fewer cars on the school run.

Of course, not all schools or school streets are suitable for this – those on bus routes for instance, or where a high proportion of parents drive and there is nowhere suitable to park nearby. But we think there are plenty of school streets where this could make a radical difference.

So far in Enfield…

Enfield have made progress on school streets. Some schools had to manually control the street during drop off/pick up times but these have been replaced by ANPR cameras. They have also been hampered by supply problems for the cameras. So far 16 school streets have been implemented.

Our ask

London Car Free Day and Mums for Lungs are calling for 100 school streets across London by Car Free Day on 22 September. In 2023/24 Enfield have plans for another 3 across the borough.

A school street in Hackney before and after the scheme

Read more:

This article on Playing Out’s website includes several links to useful info: https://playingout.net/school-streets-the-movement-for-childrens-freedom-grows/