School streets have been made permanent in Westminster following a trial period, with up to five more to be rolled out outside schools each year, the council has announced.
The eleven school roads across the city with controlled traffic will continue to be restricted to cyclists and pedestrians at peak times.
Since 2019 school streets have been created in Westminster using experimental traffic orders in areas with poor air quality and with high vehicle collision rates as part of a trial which will formally end on May 1, accounting for just 3% of over 500 active school streets London-wide.
All current school streets will also be reinforced with CCTV cameras in order to ensure compliance, and as many as five new schemes may be introduced annually for the next three years.
The schools in Westminster located on designated streets are: All Souls CE Primary School, ARK Atwood Academy Primary School, Barrow Hill Juniors, George Eliot Primary School, Hampden Gurney CE Primary School, Queens Park Primary School, St James and St Johns CE Primary School, St Mary Magdelene’s RC Primary School, St Mary’s of the Angel RC Primary School, St Matthew’s CE Primary School and St Peter’s Eaton Square CE Primary School.
Traffic controls have been shown to improve air quality levels. Data from outside five schools on the programme shows that since the introduction of the scheme nitrogen dioxide had decreased by an average of 33% on school mornings, and by 61% at home time in the afternoon.
But the streets haven’t necessarily reduced the number of students being driven to school. Of the five schools which conducted hands up surveys, three reported an increase in pupils arriving by car, although all five show an uptick in cycling as well.
Statistics also show that after becoming school streets, the roads have gained higher scores on TfL’s Healthy Street Audit, Just one (St Matthew’s) is to be reviewed after scoring under 75 out of 100 following the installation of the school street.