Hundreds oppose Harold Wood scheme to stop cars driving around schools at peak times

Redden Court School and Sophie Morris

Mum-of-two Sophie Morris (pictured) has opposed the school streets scheme around the Redden Court School (pictured) and Harold Wood Primary School area - Credit: Ken Mears/Sophie Morris

Hundreds of Havering people have signed a petition against a traffic scheme to restrict car access in six roads around two schools.  

Preventing drivers from using roads around Redden Court School and Harold Wood Primary School at peak times, the scheme has been put in place in a bid to create a safer and healthier environment for pupils.

A Havering Council spokesperson said: “It also encourages a healthier lifestyle for school families and a better environment for everyone by introducing a temporary restriction on vehicles during school drop-off and pick-up times.” 

The trial, which follows a consultation held last October, will go ahead in September this year and last for 18 months.  

Harold Wood mum and Images salon owner Sophie Morris, who has two children aged two and six, launched the petition because, she told the Recorder, the scheme is “unrealistic” and a “waste of time”.  

Inside Images hair salon

Images hair and beauty salon is on Station Road in Harold Wood - Credit: Sophie Morris

A letter received by Sophie at her hairdressing salon said the first six months of the scheme will be used as the consultation period and those wishing to obtain an exemption should apply to the council from July 25.  

Operational hours of the scheme will be in term time on weekdays from 8.15am to 9am and 2.30pm to 3.30pm.  

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It will cover Cotswold Road, Upland Court Road, Recreation Avenue, Beltinge Road, Coombe Road and Ravensbourne Crescent from September 5.  

A fixed remote camera will enforce the measures, and entry and exit points of the zone will be signposted as “pedestrian and cycle only”.  

Sophie said the trial will make life “so much harder” and added: “It’s not that we’re being lazy, it’s that we don’t have the time to walk to and back from school and make it in time for work.” 

The 34-year-old aims to get 500 signatures on the petition and it currently has just under 300.  

Sophie said both her mum and mother-in-law help pick up her children, but both have recently had surgery making it harder for them to walk long distances. 

Sophie Morris

Mum-of-two Sophie Morris - Credit: Sophie Morris

The council’s spokesperson added: “This trial is designed to test the benefits and address any problems which would come from bringing in a new scheme in this area. 

“Residents can also make their local councillor aware of any concerns they have on any parking or traffic scheme.” 

Details of the scheme and exemptions can be found at https://www.havering.gov.uk/info/20004/parking/121/parking_tickets_and_traffic_fines/5 

The petition can be viewed at https://www.change.org/p/the-school-street-scheme-harold-wood-primary-and-redden-court