Havering Council has approved making seven trial school street schemes permanent.

The schemes, launched in the second phase of School Streets in September 2022, were found to make roads around schools safer and reduce traffic and pollution.

The schools included Drapers Academy in Harold Hill, Emerson Park Academy in Hornchurch, Redden Court School in Harold Wood, RJ Mitchell School in Hornchurch, James Oglethorpe School in Upminster, and Parsonage Farm School in Rainham.

A school street scheme involves closing roads around a school to motor vehicles at the start and end of a school day.

The restrictions, enforced with the help of CCTV cameras, are meant to make it easier for pupils, parents, and carers to walk and cycle to school while reducing anti-social behaviour from reckless parking and driving.

The council ran an online consultation from June 9 to August 4, 2023, to get feedback from parents, motorists, and other stakeholders.

The results revealed that 52% respondents believed the scheme made roads safer for pedestrians, while 64% agreed that it had reduced traffic outside school entrances.

Some 51% said the scheme had reduced vehicle pollution, and 48% claimed it had reduced noise pollution.

However, the response to the scheme’s overall success was mixed, with 44% respondents in favour and 44% against.

The council said it was addressing objections.

One was dissatisfaction from people needing registered and unregistered carers to visit them, but officials said the problem is being “managed effectively” as registered carers can apply for exemptions.

There were also claims that the schemes lead to more traffic outside the zones, and that some drivers park inconsiderately across driveways.

To resolve this, the council has proposed to launch a driver education campaign and increase targeted enforcement when the schemes become permanent.

Officers also said that as residents become more familiar with the restrictions they will find the process easier.

The report also highlighted a positive from the scheme that at Harold Wood Primary School and Redden Court School, car use had decreased by 20% and 21% respectively.

Officers also recommended more localised interventions to make the zones more effective and acceptable.

The proposal to make them permanent was given the go-ahead by Cllr Barry Mugglestone, cabinet member for environment, on Friday (February 16).