Search

Traffic-free pilot project transforms 'hellish' school run

PUBLISHED: 12:13 11 November 2019 | UPDATED: 12:40 11 November 2019

Children and their parents walked and cycled to Woodgrange Infant before celebrating the scheme's launch in their playground. Picture: Jon King

Children and their parents walked and cycled to Woodgrange Infant before celebrating the scheme's launch in their playground. Picture: Jon King

Archant

The school run has turned from a "hellish" nightmare into a pleasure thanks to a new pedestrian and cycle zone pilot project.

Cllr Rachel Tripp in Sebert Road at the launch of the pilot scheme which sees some roads outside schools close at drop off and pick up times. Picture: Jon KingCllr Rachel Tripp in Sebert Road at the launch of the pilot scheme which sees some roads outside schools close at drop off and pick up times. Picture: Jon King

Roads around Woodgrange Infant School, Godwin Junior School and Chobham Academy have now closed to vehicles during drop off and pick up times in a bid to reduce traffic and improve air quality.

Neighbours and blue badge holders in Sebert Road, Cranmer Road or Godwin Road in Forest Gate as well as Cheering Lane, Stratford, will still be able to drive at all times, as will emergency vehicles.

Lollipop lady, Bushra Sultana, looks out on a virtually empty Sebert Road. Picture: Jon KingLollipop lady, Bushra Sultana, looks out on a virtually empty Sebert Road. Picture: Jon King

Cllr Rachel Tripp, speaking in Sebert Road at the launch on Monday, November 11, said: "It used to be hellish with cars backing up. Apart from the fumes which were a serious health risk, it could make for a really stressful and difficult journey.

"I'm excited about this project as it brings the community together and provides children with a more peaceful start to the school day."


Kerena Fussell (second left) from Newham Cyclists joined parents and council staff on the morning of the launch to ward off drivers trying to use Sebert Road who don't have permits or blue badges. Picture: Jon KingKerena Fussell (second left) from Newham Cyclists joined parents and council staff on the morning of the launch to ward off drivers trying to use Sebert Road who don't have permits or blue badges. Picture: Jon King

Mother of two Jessica Morrison from Forest Gate welcomed the scheme, recalling congested roads, cars parked on double yellow lines and pavements.

You may also want to watch:

"It didn't feel safe. This is much better. This morning I could cycle with my son on the road which was really nice," she said.

Woodgrange Infant, Godwin and Chobham are the first schools to take part because of their strong support for the healthy school streets pilot which runs for a six-months.

If successful, similar zones will be introduced around other schools in Newham.

On the morning of the launch, about 20 to 30 motorists were turned back from one end of Sebert Road with a council spokesman saying only a couple grumbled.

Lollipop lady, Bushra Sultana, who has worked outside Woodgrange Infant's school gates for almost six years, said: "It used to be very dangerous with cars coming down so fast. It's so good now, people can come by bike."

Kerena Fussell, deputy coordinator at Newham Cyclists - which has been campaigning for safer streets outside schools for the past two years - said: "It's amazing. As someone who has lived in the area a long time, it's not something I expected to see."

To help raise awareness of air quality among your neighbours email newham.healthchampions@activenewham.org.uk

Related articles

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Newham Recorder

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists