In a bid to enhance child safety and combat traffic congestion caused by parents driving their children to school, Ealing Council has introduced three new school streets as part of their ongoing initiative.
Recent data reveals that a quarter of London’s morning peak hour traffic is attributed to parents ferrying their kids to school, a situation the local authorities are actively working to address.
According to statistics, a staggering 84% of primary school-aged children in Ealing reside within a mere one-mile radius from their schools, equating to approximately a 20-minute walk or a five-minute cycle.
Ealing Council’s school streets program is striving to encourage more children to adopt active modes of transportation, such as walking, cycling, or scooting, to travel to and from school in a secure and enjoyable manner.
A school street, the central focus of this initiative, denotes the closure of streets surrounding a school during opening and closing times, effectively limiting traffic movement.
Currently, the borough boasts 24 such school streets across Ealing. The expansion of this initiative not only ensures the safety of children but also contributes significantly to the reduction of air pollution and the creation of a more pleasant ambiance around educational institutions.
Reports suggest that this approach has led to a notable increase in the number of children walking, cycling, and scooting to school, thereby enhancing their physical and mental well-being and positively impacting their academic performance.
As part of the council’s substantial £10 million investment dedicated to promoting active lifestyles, three new school streets have been established since the commencement of the academic year
These newly introduced school streets are located at Ark Priory in Acton, Blair Peach in Southall, and Ravenor in Greenford.
The opening of the Ravenor Primary School street was marked by the presence of Councillor Deirdre Costigan, deputy leader and cabinet member for climate action, who joined the children for the launch event on October 2, 2023.
Councillor Costigan said: “It’s great news for the safety of Ealing’s children and young people that we now have 3 new school streets in the borough, which takes us to 24 school streets – almost halfway to our target of 50 by 2026.
“By walking, cycling or scooting to school, you can help reduce traffic congestion and air pollution, while also promoting physical activity in your family and a sense of community spirit in our borough. Give it a try!”
She added: “If you still need to drive, please don’t forget the importance of switching off your vehicle engine.
“It’s a very simple action that can have a big impact on the air quality near schools. Let’s keep the borough free of unnecessary idling – running your vehicle’s engine when it is not moving is using up your fuel and harming those around you.”