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…

While Enfield announced three school streets over a year ago, as far as we know, only one is in operation. All three are in cul-de-sacs – there appear to be no plans yet to restrict school-run traffic on dangerous rat runs.

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. Hackney is leading the way, with 5 pilot streets already and plans for 17 by 2022. How many will there be in Enfield? We want to see Enfield Council leading a scheme like Hackney’s, to make school streets traffic-free wherever possible.

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/