Exeter primary schools adopt new traffic calming measures
Published: 8 September 2021
Two schools in Exeter have started their new academic year with the introduction of permanent changes to the environment outside their gates.
From Wednesday 8 September, Ladysmith Primary and Whipton Barton Federation in Exeter, will adopt the School Streets measures to restrict traffic outside the schools during drop off and pick up times.
The schools have been taking part in a scheme trial over the past year. They found that restricting motor vehicle access outside the school entrance at the start and end of the school day reduced congestion and pollution.
This, in turn, created a calmer, safer and more pleasant environment, allowing children to travel to and from school in more active ways.
Devon County Council is making the measures permanent following positive feedback to its consultation earlier this year on the School Streets closures.
The trial received strong support from parents, school staff and local residents, with the results of the consultation across the three schools showing that 86% of those who responded wanted the school streets to be made permanent.
Perceived benefits included a sense of greater personal safety, more room for social distancing and reduced congestion. Some parents said they now feel more confident in letting their children walk to school, and teachers noted that children settled in class more quickly, leading to a better learning environment.
Those who took part in the consultation also said that their travel habits changed after the introduction of the School Streets scheme, with a 20% reduction in car use for school journeys and an 18% increase in active travel modes.
The County Council is launching a second phase of consultation on creating calmer and quieter streets in Heavitree and Whipton. The online consultation is available at https://placebuilder.io/exeterstreets/heavitreeandwhipton
The Exeter & Cranbrook Live & Move Sport England programme is helping more families become active in everyday life and will be encouraging more schools to take part in the School Streets initiative.