Wider roll out of scheme banning some drivers from school roads

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

Newham has hailed a scheme which bars some motorists from using roads outside the gates at drop-off and pick-up times. - Credit: Jon King

Driving restrictions have been put in place outside more schools in Newham.

In total, 11 schools in Newham now have restrictions at drop-off and pick-up times in a push to cut toxic air and boost road safety.

Sheringham, Park, Hartley and Brampton primaries are the latest to see limits, with a scheme outside Kay Rowe Nursery in Forest Gate launched on May 17.

This comes amid walk to school week from May 17 to 21.

Sheringham Nursery's headteacher, Julian Grenier, said: "I’m delighted by the success of our healthy school street.

"This morning it was great to see so many on bikes and trikes as well as walking. The street feels calmer and safer now which makes for a more positive start to the day."

Emergency services, black cabs and people living in the zones can drive on the streets at any time, but general traffic is barred at certain periods.

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Motorists caught on camera flouting the rules are automatically issued tickets.

The latest schemes have been introduced under experimental traffic orders which can run from six to 18 months.

During the first six months, people can formally comment.

Deputy cabinet lead for environment, highways and sustainable transport, Cllr Nilufa Jahan said: "The council receive a significant number of complaints about traffic congestion and dangerous driving near some schools, particularly during drop-off and pick-up times."

She added Newham is looking forward to identifying a third group of schools to benefit from the scheme, with interested parents and teachers invited to get in touch.

The first pilot phase of healthy school streets schemes at Chobham Academy, Woodgrange Infants, Godwin Junior, West Ham Primary and Lathom Junior are now permanent.

Air quality monitoring showed a 32 per cent drop in nitrogen dioxide in the morning and a 16pc fall in the afternoon at Chobham Academy, according to Newham Council.

Before and after results use the levels in October 2019 to get a comparison with October 2020, avoiding the slump in traffic during lockdown.

The council has said some adjustments will be made to a number of the schemes following feedback.

Newham has been identified as having the worst air quality in the country, with seven out of every 100 deaths linked to dirty air, according to the council.

The borough also has some of the highest asthma rates among under 18s, Newham has said.