School Streets scheme for five zones after Redbridge residents reject half of proposed sites

Half of proposed traffic restrictions around Redbridge schools will not go ahead after the plans were rejected by neighbouring residents.

Redbridge Council planned to introduce 10 “School Streets” zones, restricting traffic around schools at pick-up and drop-off time, but has only gone ahead with five.

The five new zones, beginning in September, will join two existing schemes in Hainault and Woodford, which the council says “have been successful at reducing traffic” and air pollution.

The zones restrict traffic for less than three hours each school day, fining those who disobey £130, and residents or local businesses can apply for an exemption.

However, some residents feared the scheme would force them to take long detours when driving or displace traffic issues to areas just outside the proposed zone.

Emma Friddin, who lives just outside a proposed zone that was rejected by residents, thanked the council on Twitter for “listening and taking on board our feedback”.

She added: “We look forward to continuing the discussions of how we can tackle school traffic in a way that works for residents too.”

The zone around Parkhill Infants’ and Junior Schools was rejected by more than 80 per cent of consulted residents.

In February, the chairman of a residents group set up specifically to oppose School Streets explained residents feared it would “only displace the problem from one area to another”.

Kashif Mahmood, 46, said: “They are planning (to close roads) one block away from the school. All it will do is push traffic down into our road.

“We’d like to stop this unworkable scheme from proceeding and sit down with the council to discuss it.”

He added many members would prefer a “non-stopping zone”, which would prevent parents dropping their kids off or picking them up without restricting other traffic.

In its letter confirming the scheme would not go ahead, a council spokesperson said it remains “committed to improving children’s health and safety” and may consult on other measures to reduce traffic in future

From September, School Streets will be introduced around Avanti Court Primary School, Wanstead Church School, Aldersbrook Primary School, Fullwood Primary School and Oakdale Infant and Junior Schools.

Executive headteacher of Fullwood Primary School, Danvir Visvanathan, said the school “welcomes the restrictions” as congestion is “of immense concern”.

She added: “Our children will also be less exposed to the harmful effects of air pollution. Thank you Redbridge Council for making this possible.”

The council’s cabinet member for the environment, Cllr Jo Blackman, added that air pollution and dangerous driving “pose a real and immediate threat”.

She said: “These new school streets will provide a safer and cleaner environment for our children.

“This represents an important step towards improving air quality in the borough, encouraging healthier travel choices, and making the journey to school safer for children.”

Redbridge Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Civic Pride, Cllr Jo Blackman, said: “Poor air quality and dangerous driving around schools pose a real and immediate threat to children and young people.

“These new school streets will provide a safer and cleaner environment for our children. This represents an important step towards improving air quality in the borough, encouraging healthier travel choices, and making the journey to school safer for children.”

Residents can find out how to apply for an exemption to the zones here: www.redbridge.gov.uk/school-streets

Advertisement

Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter