School Street 2

Proposal for introduction of new School Street

  • Civitas Academy plans to create a School Street in Great Knollys Street
  • Council due to consider the introduction of the borough’s fifth School Street

A new School Street scheme in central Reading is set to be considered for approval next week.

Civitas Academy, in Great Knollys Street, has applied to introduce a scheme which will restrict traffic access outside the school during certain times of day.

Reading’s School Streets programme, which the Council administers and is run by each of the schools it serves, aims to create a healthier, safer, environment around the school during drop-off and collection times and encourage more pupils to walk, cycle or scoot to school.

It also runs parallel to the Council’s wider ambitions to improve air quality in parts of the town by encouraging people to use alternative modes of transport to the private car.

Members of the Council’s Traffic Management Sub Committee are due to discuss the Civitas Academy plans at a meeting on Wednesday 6 March.

Civitas Academy carried out an informal consultation with neighbours and parents on the proposal to introduce a School Street in Great Knollys Street in autumn 2023, and submitted an application to the Council in January 2024.

The proposal is for the partial closure of Great Knollys Street to all but eligible vehicles immediately to the east of its junction with Bedford Road up to the point of an existing traffic restriction outside the Reading Buses depot. Residents who live within this area will still have full access during the school street closure including for visitors and deliveries.

The proposed times of closure would be from 8.30-9am and 2.55-3.40pm, Monday to Friday, during term time.

Council officers have assessed the proposals and are recommending the scheme is approved under an Experimental Traffic Order. If this scheme is approved, a statutory consultation will then run for six-months from the start of the scheme, after which a further assessment and decision will be made on whether to make the scheme permanent.

Salima Ducker, Executive Headteacher at Civitas Academy, said:

“Civitas Academy opened in 2015 and we moved into our wonderful school in November 2016. As our academy has grown, so has the number of vehicles on the school run creating an increase in traffic.

“We feel the School Street scheme will have benefits for our school community and residents by reducing traffic congestion and improving local air quality, as well as making it safer and easier for children, families, and staff to walk, cycle or scoot to school.”

Reading Borough Council launched the School Streets scheme in 2020 and four schemes are now in place, serving Maiden Erlegh School in Reading, UTC Reading, Alfred Sutton Primary, Park Lane Junior, Wilson Primary and Thameside Primary.

Cllr John Ennis, Lead Councillor for Climate Strategy and Transport, said:

“School Streets create a safer, healthier and more pleasant environment for pupils, parents and staff as well as neighbours living near the school.

“Civitas Academy has demonstrated there is widespread support for the scheme from residents as well as among parents and the school’ staff, leaders and governors.

“We have seen the success of School Streets in other locations around the borough and I am keen to see more introduced where possible in line with the Council’s aims to reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality and encourage more cycling and walking. “

If the proposals are given the go-ahead on 6 March the scheme should be in place later this year.

You can read the Traffic Management Sub-Committee report at: