Two New Reading School Streets Now Open
- School Street trials began this week at Wilson Primary School and Thameside Primary School
- The initiative aims to create a safer and healthier environment for everyone by encouraging more active travel, such as cycling and walking.
Reading’s second and third School Street trials began this week at Wilson Primary School and Thameside Primary School.
School Streets create a safer and healthier environment for everyone, including local residents. School Streets also provide more space for parents, pupils and residents to adhere to social distancing measures during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The initiative is part of the Council’s wider ambitions for encouraging more active travel, such as cycling and walking, and as a result support better physical and mental health, lower carbon generation and improved air quality.
Parents and schoolchildren from Wilson Primary welcomed the temporary road closure of Wilson Road (between Oxford Road and Westbourne Terrace) between 8.20am to 9.05am and 2.35pm to 3.20pm, and at Thameside Primary the temporary road closure of Harley Road between 8.30am to 9.15am and 2.50pm to 3.30pm. Transport Officers and Civil Enforcement Officers were all on hand to support the initial openings yesterday.
Closure points monitored at all times by trained, volunteer School Street marshals, whose job it is to ensure access is maintained for eligible vehicles accessing properties or businesses within the closure area.
The initiative is already being trialled at Park Lane Primary (Junior) School, Reading’s first School Street - which began on 19th April. The Council continues to monitor and review the scheme.
Gemma Charnock, Assistant Head at Wilson Primary School said: “We are delighted for Wilson Road to become the next School Street in Reading. We’d like to thank the school community and local residents for their incredible support in making the road safer for our children to walk, bike or scoot to school, as well as helping to create a cleaner environment for our community.”
Sophie Greenaway, Head at Thameside Primary School said:
"At Thameside, we are absolutely delighted to be part of the School Streets initiative, which we know will help to keep our families safer on their commute to school. Our school Eco Council also hope that it will encourage those who can walk, cycle or scoot to do so. Thank you so much to our School Business Manager, Miss Vicki Lucas, for all of her hard work in making School Streets a reality for Thameside and to our fantastic school community for their ongoing support, especially those who have volunteered to marshal."
Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Councillor for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said: “I am delighted to see two more school streets become operational in Reading, following on from the initial success at Park Lane Primary.
“School Streets allow children and parents to walk, cycle or scoot into school safely, and create a healthier and more pleasant environment for everyone living in the vicinity. We know from the generally lower traffic levels in Reading school holidays what a difference this can make. I wish children, parents and staff at both Wilson and Thameside Primary every success, which I hope will encourage even more schools across Reading to come forward with their own proposals.”
Prof Dr Kate Reynolds, Director of Education at Brighter Futures for Children (BFfC) which provides education services in Reading, said:
“Well done to everyone involved in organising the new School Streets at Wilson and Thameside primary schools. In both cases, communities have pulled together to create a safer and more pleasant environment for pupils.
“School Streets encourage more children and young people to walk, cycle or scoot to school, as promoted in BFfC’s Move More campaign, and results in healthier and more alert pupils in our classrooms.
“I wish these schemes every success and hope they inspire more Headteachers to consider setting up their own School Streets.”
Maiden Erlegh School in Reading, UTC and Alfred Sutton Primary School have developed a joint proposal for a School Street on Crescent Road, between Wokingham Road and Bulmershe Road. The proposal is currently under review by officers, and a recommendation on the proposal is planned to be made at the next Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport Committee on 30th June.
Whilst the Council is in the early stages of assessing all the positive impacts of the initiative, evidence from elsewhere suggests that schemes promoting active travel in this way are sustainable, improve neighbourhoods and have wider health benefits for children, parents and those using the area.
Further applications are very welcome and information on Reading’s School Streets can be found on the Council’s dedicated School Streets webpage: www.reading.gov.uk/schoolstreets
Notes to editors
A School Street is a road outside a school with a temporary restriction on motorised traffic at busy school drop-off and pick-up times. The restriction applies to all school traffic and all through traffic, where a school is located on a through route.