Four Havering schools taking part in pilot scheme aimed at improving road safety

Branfil Primary School is one of those taking part in the pilot. Picture: Google.

Branfil Primary School is one of those taking part in the pilot. Picture: Google. - Credit: Archant

A pilot scheme to create safer streets around some of the borough’s schools will only take place at three sites following the outcome of a public consultation.

Havering Council had called on parents and residents to have their say on proposals to introduce school street schemes - pedestrian and cycle-only areas at set times of the day to reduce traffic and improve road safety and air quality.

But the consultation - which closed last month - found that there was a majority support for a scheme outside just four schools.

As such, a trial of between six and nine months will take place outside Branfil Primary School in Upminster, Hylands Primary School in Romford, and Squirrels Heath Infants and Junior schools, who share a site in Gidea Park.

Although parents won’t be able to use their cars, residents of the affected streets will still be able to access the roads and be able to register for an exemption to the scheme so they aren’t at risk of a penalty.

Anyone else trying to access the road during the restricted times, which could be up to an hour and a half in the morning and again in the afternoon, will be subject to a fine.

But the scheme was rejected for 14 schools, meaning pilots outside their sites will not go ahead.

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Councillor Osman Dervish, Havering’s cabinet member for environment, said: “I want to thank everyone who gave their views on this scheme. The response was very valuable and has given us the chance to see what is best for the different areas.

“The scheme will be trialled around three of our school sites. We will then look to make a decision on whether it would become permanent in these areas, if it proves to be effective.

“For those areas that previously had PSPO arrangements in place and didn’t support the scheme, we will be working with both the schools and residents to look at other options.”

He added: “We want to help find ways of reducing pollution and improve safety issues around our school gates as we continue to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We’re encouraging children and parents to walk or cycle to school where possible, to help improve safety and congestion outside schools.”

Havering Council has already secured funding from TfL to deliver the school street scheme pilots.