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Glasgow to introduce car free zones around 21 city primary schools

The scheme follows an initial pilot at six primary schools with a reported 69 per cent fewer vehicles identified outside those schools during the morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up.

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Glasgow City Council has announced plans to introduce car free zones around 21 city primary schools as part of a move to improve road safety and air quality for children.

 

The scheme follows an initial pilot at six primary schools with a reported 69 per cent fewer vehicles identified outside those schools during the morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up.

 

Car free zones

 

Research from Napier University, Edinburgh, also shows the school car free zones have a positive impact on the perception of road safety and encourage active travel in the wider community.

 

Plans to build on the initial success of the trial have been brought forward through the council’s Spaces for People programme, which has created additional road space for physical distancing for walking, wheeling and cycling as part of the effort to suppress the spread of Covid-19.

 

“There has been a very positive response to the car free zone trial with a big drop in traffic around the six schools at the times for the school run. Significantly fewer cars at the school gate for when the bell goes makes it much safer for children to get to and from school,” said councillor Anna Richardson, city convener for sustainability and carbon reduction.

 

“With calmer roads around those schools there are greater opportunities for children to come and go safely from school on foot or by bike, which is great for health and wellbeing.”

 

She continued: “The Covid crisis is still with us and the concern about the need for physical distancing remains at the forefront of people’s minds. Extra space outside schools will help staff and pupils get to school safely rather than deal with the often chaotic scenes witnessed at drop-off and pick-up times.”

 

The 21 schools identified as potential locations for a car free zone either requested involvement in the scheme or were nominated by parents or local elected members. Work to engage with parents, pupils and teachers at the 21 schools is underway.

“With calmer roads around those schools there are greater opportunities for children to come and go safely from school on foot or by bike, which is great for health and well-being.”

It is proposed the new car free zones will be initially introduced on a temporary basis to allow them to be implemented quickly, with measures hoped to be in place by October this year. The zones are designed to prohibit cars and other vehicles from driving up to school gates between 8.30am and 9.15am and then 2.30pm and 3.15pm each weekday during term time.

 

“All the evidence we have points towards car free zones making the school gate a safer place for children to be. It’s always been our intention to expand the use of school car free zones as much as possible and we are responding to where interest has been expressed,” added councillor Chris Cunningham, city convener for education, skills and early years.

 

“We will now be engaging with the 21 school communities on the plans to introduce further car free zones and we hope to press ahead quickly to implementation. “

 

For any car free zone to become permanent in the city, a full traffic regulation order will be required. Expanding the school car free zone scheme was recommended by Glasgow’s Climate Emergency Working Group.

 

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