Three Bletchley schools will be piloting low traffic safety zones early next year, in a bid to transform air quality and improve road safety in the area.
The zones, called School Streets, transform ordinary streets into pedestrian and cycle-only zones at the start and finish of school days, so that children can walk or cycle to school in a safer and cleaner environment.
Chestnuts Primary School, Cold Harbour C of E School and The Premier Academy have signed up to take part in the pilot scheme, meaning that the streets outside the schools will be temporarily closed to motor traffic for around an hour and a half each day.
These schools have been chosen after analysing the impact closing the road would have on grid roads, congestion, bus routes, local businesses.
Ward councillors have welcomed the plans. Mick Legg and Lauren Townsend, Labour Councillors for Bletchley West, said: “Residents have shared their concerns about how busy the streets can be during school drop off and pick up times, so I am pleased that we are trialling this new method to see if we can make our community even cleaner and safer for children and families.”
Councillor Zoe Nolan, Labour Progressive Alliance Cabinet Member for Children and Families, added: “The Labour and Lib Dem Progressive Alliance wants to make Milton Keynes a healthy city, while ensuring that children and young people are protected from harm. This trial will give us the opportunity to see if limiting motor traffic will encourage more active modes of transport, like walking and cycling, to boost physical wellbeing while also hopefully improving air quality around the schools. We hope that this trial is a success so that we can potentially roll School Streets out to other areas across the city.”
Bletchley East Councillors Mohammed Khan, Ed Hume and Emily Darlington, said: “Children should be safe when walking to school, and their parents shouldn’t have to worry about cars whizzing past the school gates. We hope that this trial will be welcomed by all, and will provide a healthier and safer environment for our youngest residents.”