School is first in county to trial traffic-free areas at busy times

A Cramlington school has been trialling a scheme that closes surrounding roads to traffic at the start and end of the school day.

Friday, 12th July 2019, 4:19 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th July 2019, 6:09 pm
Jacqueline Mowat, school pupils and community representatives.

Hareside Primary School was the first in the county to try the Government-led initiative when three roads around it shut to motorists between 8am and 9am and 2.15pm and 3.15pm over two days at the end of last week.

Pupils and their parents have been encouraged to travel to school by foot, bike, scooter or public transport, while for those parents or carers who do need to use a car, special Park and Stride locations were set up a five-minute walk away.

Headteacher Jacqueline Mowat said: “We are working hard to help our children and families live healthy and active lives. It is really important to us that we encourage children to walk to school and play safely in their own community.

“We have also been working with local residents to address their concerns and we will be using pupil voice, parent and resident feedback to assess its success.”

Residents living in the closed streets were all contacted either in person or by letter and Northumberland County Council reported that they have been widely supportive of the scheme, which also involves sustainable transport charity Sustrans.

Emergency access was still possible.

Coun Mark Swinburn, ward member for Cramlington Village, said: “I’m proud that one of my local schools is trialling this pioneering scheme and will be interested in hearing feedback from pupils and parents.”