Croydon is to trial pedestrian zones next to schools so parents and their children walk more and use cars less.
Three schools have signed up to the six-month council scheme from September aimed at improving road safety, reducing pollution and getting people to walk more.
The pedestrian zones will be in place on school days along the roads approaching:
• Woodcote Primary in Dunsfold Rise, Coulsdon (including Fairfield Way and Meadow Rise)
• Heavers Farm Primary in Dinsdale Gardens, Selhurst
• St Chad’s Catholic Primary in Alverstone Gardens, Selhurst.
The pedestrian zones at Heavers Farm and St Chad’s will be from 8-9.30am and 2-4pm, and the zone outside Woodcote Primary will be from 8-9.30am and 2.30-4pm.
The roads will not be physically closed to traffic – instead, the council will use temporary automatic number plate recognition cameras to scan if vehicles passing through have advance permission.
Residents, their visitors or school staff will be able to enter or leave the zones by applying free of charge for an advance access permit. Owners of cars that pass through the zones without a permit face a £130 fixed penalty notice, which can be reduced to £65 if paid within a fortnight.
Signs will be in place to inform drivers about the pedestrian zones, and council staff will marshal parking and road safety on nearby streets.
The council sent advance letters about the project to parents and local residents this week, and will ask for feedback during the trial. If it proves successful, the scheme will become regular at these schools and could be trialled at others in the borough.
The council already runs several initiatives to improve the borough’s environment, from school travel plans and free cycling lessons to the introduction of 20mph speed limits across the borough.
“We’re doing lots to make Croydon’s roads less polluted, less congested and more pedestrian-friendly, and this school run pilot is another way of achieving this.
“We want to make Croydon a healthier and safer place for all our residents, especially our youngsters, so I urge as many people as possible in these pilot areas to get out of their cars and walk their children to school.”
Councillor Stuart King, cabinet member for transport and environment