Car free zone trial outside Wellingborough infants school extended

The school is the first in the county to have cars banned from its school gates at drop-off and pick-up times

By Stephanie Weaver
Friday, 13th November 2020, 6:00 am

A Wellingborough infants school is set to continue with a trial where cars are banned from its school gates at drop-off and pick-up times.

The county council introduced the ‘school street’ scheme at St Barnabas Church of England School in September.

Barriers and signage go up at each end of St Barnabas Street from 8am to 9.30am and also from 2.30pm to 3.30pm on school days to prevent cars from using the road.

Since the trial launched, parents and carers have had to walk or cycle their children to the school gates.

The scheme has been overseen by school staff with anyone not complying being reported to the police.

The temporary scheme, which has been trialled in other parts of the country, is being funded by the Government’s emergency active travel fund.

And the county council has just confirmed that the trial has been extended until Christmas.

The street is closed at school drop-off and pick-up times (pic via @NNHighways on Twitter)

Cllr Jason Smithers, cabinet member for Highways and Place at Northamptonshire County Council, said: “I can confirm that we are continuing with the school street trial at St Barnabas School in Wellingborough to help make it safer for children going to and from school.

“The trial has involved prohibiting vehicles (except residents with permits) from entering most of St Barnabas Street at school start and finish times in order to tackle the congestion and double parking that was previously causing issues.

“We are pleased that the scheme has been welcomed by many parents and residents of St Barnabas Street.

"However, we understand that some residents in the area have also expressed concerns - the consultation period is intended to provide us with a means of gauging these respective thoughts so that we can take them into consideration.

“The feedback we receive will also help us to formulate a policy on whether and where similar schemes would be suitable elsewhere in the county.”

The aim of the scheme is to create a safer, more pleasant environment for everyone around.

The council says the scheme will promote active travel to school by walking and cycling, which will help to reduce congestion and pollution in the area.

Vehicles with blue badges can enter St Barnabas Street during the times of closure.

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