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‘School Streets’ is expanded as pupils go back

Motorists could face £130 fine if they use roads included in school-hours scheme

04 September, 2020 — By Calum Fraser

ISLINGTON Council has more than doubled its “School Streets” programme which sees motorists fined if they drive down certain roads during school hours.

A further 16 schools have been added to the 13 existing schemes with signs and cameras set to be installed in roads across the borough as pupils return from a near six-month absence.

It aims to reduce traffic outside the borough’s schools at drop-off and pick-up times as any vehicles driven down the designated streets are hit with a £130 fine, which is cut by 50 per cent if paid within 14 days.

Environment and transport chief, Labour councillor Rowena Champion, said: “The implementation of School Streets across the borough will mean that children returning to the classroom this week will experience a safer, less-polluted environment outside the school gates, where it is easier to socially distance.

“We know that children are particularly vulnerable to the damaging effects of air pollution, which is a major health emergency.”

In July, the Town Hall announced a rapid acceleration of the programme, with the aim of tripling the number of School Streets from 13 to 39 before the end of the year. The 26 new measures are being implemented outside primary schools under 18-month Experimental Traffic Orders (WTOs).

After 12 months, schools, parents and neighbours will be invited to have their say on whether their School Street should remain in place permanently.

The extension of the programme is part of the council’s wider efforts to create “people-friendly streets”– also known as “Low Traffic Neighbourhoods”.

This policy has sparked a backlash from residents who are angry about what they believe has been a lack of consultation.

Protests have been held outside the Town Hall in Upper Street every week for a month calling for a U-turn on the controversial policy.

Another demonstration is expected today (Friday) as the protest organisers meet with council leader Cllr Richard Watts for crunch talks.

The feasibility of expanding the School Streets programme to secondary schools on local roads will be considered after the current group have been implemented, the council said.

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