Calderdale has reached another milestone in its mission to improve air quality and get people moving more, with an additional school set to join the trial of pedestrian and cycle zones.
From Monday 28 June, Trinity Academy Sowerby Bridge will join the 12 other schools across Calderdale which have introduced ‘School Streets(external link)’. Albert Road outside the school will be closed to through traffic at school pick-up times in the afternoon, creating a safer, healthier and more pleasant area for everyone.
This announcement is part of Calderdale Council’s ambitions to tackle climate change and make physical activity a part of day-to-day life through Active Calderdale.
Since June 2020, the Council has been working with local schools to trial School Streets across the borough. This involves providing environments outside schools that enable COVID-safe social distancing measures, reduce air pollution and support pupils to walk, cycle or scoot to school.
Schools and residents where existing School Streets schemes are in place are enjoying improved road safety, easier social distancing, reduced traffic, improved air quality and more enjoyable streets.
Trinity Academy Sowerby Bridge is joining the trial after local feedback and traffic monitoring on Albert Road showed the need for reduced volumes of traffic and improved road safety. In a survey with residents, parents, carers and staff, the majority supported the introduction of road closures outside school.
Cllr Scott Patient, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Resilience, said:
“As part of our priorities to address the climate emergency, boost health and wellbeing and give young people the best start in life, we’re working with schools to encourage more active and sustainable ways to travel to and from school.
“Fighting climate change is a joint effort. We’re very grateful to the schools and local residents that have been trialling School Streets with us over the last 12 months, and we’re really pleased to have Trinity Academy Sowerby Bridge on board now too. We hope to introduce School Streets outside more schools soon.
“This is a community-based approach to reducing car usage and air pollution, promoting walking and cycling and boosting road safety, health and wellbeing for everyone.”
Charlie Johnson, Principal of Trinity Academy Sowerby Bridge, said:
“We are happy to support the Local Authority with their School Streets scheme to make school pick-up times safer for our students, and hopefully reduce the volumes of traffic that have a negative impact on local residents. The scheme will be closely monitored and reviewed by the Highways Team and we would encourage parents and residents to share their views on the success of the scheme with them directly.”
Parents, carers and nearby residents and businesses have been contacted directly about the new traffic restrictions. There will be signs in place on site.
If the afternoon trial is successful at Trinity Academy Sowerby Bridge, experimental closures could also be introduced during morning drop-off times.
Council teams are supporting the trial through monitoring, engagement with people outside school and enforcement if needed.
Improving air quality, protecting the borough’s distinctive environment and making it more resilient is fundamental to the Vision2024 for Calderdale.
For more information about School Streets in Calderdale, visit www.calderdale.gov.uk/v2/residents/transport-and-streets/transport-improvements-and-initiatives/school-streets To find out more about Active Calderdale, head to https://active.calderdale.gov.uk and follow @ActiveCdale on Twitter. The Council’s climate emergency web page can be found at www.calderdale.gov.uk/v2/council/our-vision/climate-emergency