Doncaster Council to get money to close streets to encourage walking and cycling near schools

Doncaster Council has been handed a pot of money to temporarily close residential streets in areas with poor air quality to encourage more sustainable methods of travel in school areas.

Tuesday, 16th February 2021, 12:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th February 2021, 2:25 pm

The £72,000 grant, handed down by Government, will enable the council to close roads off to traffic in 10 areas with associated activities and the employment of an active travel officer.

Schemes have been replicated elsewhere which resulted in an increase in cycling and children playing outdoors without the fear of traffic.

The project bid, run in conjunction with Sheffield City Region and Barnsley Council, will commence March 1 and run for 12 months.

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Doncaster Council is looking to close roads off to traffic in 10 areas with associated activities

Across the UK, cycling charity Sustrans has been piloting School Streets, where the street outside a school is closed for the day to show what it could be like without traffic.

Parent surveys carried out across 40 school road closure events in the spring of 2019 showed that 90 per cent of parents said they would like more road closures outside the school.

Teacher surveys also showed that 86 per cent agreed the level of car use had decreased on the day and 78 per cent agreed pupils were continuing to walk, scoot or cycle to school since the event.

Kerry Perruzza, senior transport planner at Doncaster Council, said: “Both Doncaster and Barnsley councils have declared Air Quality Management Areas for NO2 within their areas and are taking steps to reduce these emissions.

“Our joint submission is for a rolling programme of school street closures prioritisingareas of poor air quality, supported by portable emissions measurements collectedin real time, using innovative technology.

“The temporary street closures will be combined with play activities and messaging, aimed at changing attitudes and delivering behaviour change in the form of mode shift from car to active travel.

“Sheffield City Region wanted to test the School Street approach and invited Doncaster Council to be a delivery partner because of our previous success in delivering road closures with schools.”

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