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School Streets initiative nominated for important award


School Streets initiative nominated for important award

A successful active travel scheme funded through the Combined Authority and helping to keep Peterborough children safe on their way to school has been nominated for an important national award.

Peterborough City Council’s School Streets initiative has been shortlisted for a Community Involvement accolade in this year’s Local Government Chronicle awards, with winners announced in June.

Funded by the Active Travel England grant secured by the Combined Authority, the School Streets initiative has been running for three years and currently has 14 schools and nurseries taking part.

A School Street sees a temporary road closure set up outside the school entrance, creating a pedestrian-only zone during the school’s opening and closing hours. This encourages active travel, reduces congestion and pollution as well as improving safety for children on their way to and from classes.

If a site is suitable for the scheme, a temporary traffic regulation order allows the road to be closed during arrival and departure times. Extensive consultation is also undertaken by Peterborough City Council with residents and the school community before a School Street is implemented.

The relative low cost of creating a School Street versus the benefits it can bring in terms of active travel, health and the environment, make it a highly effective way of helping children get into the habit of walking and cycling.

Peterborough City Council says the initiative has attracted interest from campaign groups such as Mums for Lungs, other local authorities, and with schools continuing to express interest, the council is working to develop the project to ensure its continued success.

Cllr Gavin Elsey, Peterborough City Council lead for Infrastructure, Environment and Climate Change, said: “I am delighted that School Streets has been shortlisted for this prestigious award. This is testament to the hard work of our officers and participating schools, who have actively worked to turn this project into a highly effective initiative, which is making a positive difference in our communities.

“We are fully committed to promoting active travel throughout the city and this campaign has helped to support our priority of creating healthy and safe environments where people want to live, work, visit and play, enabled by effective community engagement and strong partnerships.”