Parental car ban from Newcastle school area made permanent

Hotspur Primary School, Newcastle
Parking restrictions outside Hotspur Primary School have encouraged more cycling

Streets around a primary school are to be permanently closed to parents' vehicles at drop-off and pick-up times.

The scheme was introduced at Hotspur Primary School, in the Heaton area of Newcastle, on an 18-month trial basis in June last year.

It has seen several streets closed from 08:00 to 09:30 and 14:30 to 16:00.

The city council says it has made the area safer for pedestrians and cyclists, and that a majority of people backed the move in a consultation.

Although there was a higher number of vehicles travelling in the area outside the School Streets zone, the council said monitoring showed that figure was "much lower than the overall reduction in traffic".

'Much safer'

Marion Williams, cabinet member for a connected, clean city, said she believed the scheme was achieving its goals.

"At the times of day when the restrictions are in place we've seen fewer vehicles outside the school gates and people have told us that it has felt much safer as a result.

"The reduction in traffic and parked cars has also been welcomed by local residents and, most importantly, more children have been able to enjoy walking and cycling to school.

"It's great to see that since the scheme was introduced many people have swapped car journeys for other forms of transport - particularly cycling, which saw a significant increase."

During the restricted hours, access is permitted for vehicles belonging to residents, school staff, emergency services and blue badge holders.

After the pilot began at Hotspur Primary, the scheme was also introduced at other schools in the city. There are trials ongoing at Grange First School, Chillingham Road Primary School and Ravenswood Primary School.

The council said a decision about whether to make them permanent would be made after consultation.

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