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Parents being banned dropping off or collecting the kids by car at 6 more Tower Hamlets schools

PUBLISHED: 15:13 15 September 2020 | UPDATED: 15:28 15 September 2020

School Streets... new schemes making it safe for pupils outside gates at home time. Picture: LBTH

School Streets... new schemes making it safe for pupils outside gates at home time. Picture: LBTH

LBTH

More streets are being closed to traffic outside schools with Tower Hamlets Council announcing tough restrictions including fines for parents and other drivers who ignoring them.

Mayor John Biggs watching pupils plant tree outside William Burrough Primary with trial 'school street' scheme in 2018. Picture: LBTHMayor John Biggs watching pupils plant tree outside William Burrough Primary with trial 'school street' scheme in 2018. Picture: LBTH

Six “School Street” projects are getting under way, following a trial run in Limehouse in 2018 when a blocked cul-de-sac which ironically didn’t have through traffic or parked cars was turned into a “school street” next to Sir William Burrough Primary.

Latest changes include restricting traffic at drop-off and pick-up times to discourage parents using cars on the school run in three streets in Stepney, Bethnal Green and Bow, with other measures elsewhere.

“The changes won’t prevent staff, residents and businesses having access to their area,” mayor John Biggs assured.

“But they will make conditions safer for the school and hopefully encourage families to walk, cycle or scoot for all or part of their journey.”

Temporary barrier at Woolmore Primary in Poplar while preparations are laid out to stop cars parking by school gates. Picture: LBTHTemporary barrier at Woolmore Primary in Poplar while preparations are laid out to stop cars parking by school gates. Picture: LBTH

Fines will be imposed on drivers using the streets without a permit during the restricted hours.

The raft of schemes also includes wider pavements, new crossings, bike and scooter storage and trees planted to help keep air fresher.

Three primary schools get traffic bans at the start and end of the day, Globe Town in Bethnal Green, Ben Jonson in Stepney and Malmesbury in Bow, although residents and businesses with permits can still drive at those times. Harry Roberts Nursery in Stepney is included in this scheme.

Other measures include Blue Gate Fields in Shadwell having a zebra crossing outside, while English Martyrs in Whitechapel gets a wider pavement with a pedestrian and cycle zone at drop-off and pick-up times.

Salmon Street cul-de-sac off Salmon Lane already had barrier and 'no parking' zigzag lines, but was soon to be paved over anyway... Picture: GoogleSalmon Street cul-de-sac off Salmon Lane already had barrier and 'no parking' zigzag lines, but was soon to be paved over anyway... Picture: Google

Elizabeth Selby in Bethnal Green already has Old Bethnal Green Road closed to through traffic, but now gets more speed bumps along Pollard Street.

The new “school streets” idea was first revealed in the East London Advertiser in April, 2019, with proposed Fixed Penalty notices to drivers breaching the measures. The fines were aimed mainly at parents driving children to school and collecting them at home time by car.

Temporary measures are also being brought in at 25 other schools to create social distancing near the gates.

Children planted a cherry tree to create the first school street outside William Burrough Primary in December, 2018, at Salmon Street, off Salmon Lane, a short cul-de-sac with a barrier that had long been traffic free anyway, not even parked cars.

...The same cul-de-sac off Salmon Lane after council painters turned it into a 'school street'. Picture: LBTH...The same cul-de-sac off Salmon Lane after council painters turned it into a 'school street'. Picture: LBTH

But it did make a colourful place for the children who helped design it with trees, benches and a mural.

This was followed by a town hall deal last summer with the Sustrans environment charity to create 11 more pedestrianised streets around primary schools to discourage parents turning up in cars.

The measures are based on a GLA report in 2016 showing five worst schools in London affected by traffic fumes were Canon Barnett behind Whitechapel High Street, English Martyrs at Tower Hill, Woolmore and Holy Family both in Poplar near the A13 and Sir John Cass in Aldgate High Street.


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