Six Trafford Schools Trial Car-Free School Run

Six Trafford schools participated in School Streets trials over a fortnight of activity that transformed the school run for many of the borough’s parents and children.

School Streets are created when restrictions are placed on motor traffic during school drop off and pick up times. The street is open only to vehicles driven by residents, local businesses, and blue badge holders, meaning that children can enjoy a less polluted and less congested journey into school. It also encourages children and their parents to cycle or walk to school which, in turn, benefits their mental and physical health.

Following a co-ordinated effort between the One Trafford Partnership, Trafford Council, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), and the schools involved, Urmston Primary, English Martyrs, Urmston Grammar, Seymour Park Primary, Stretford High and Tyntesfield Primary School all participated in some form of school street trial, within the same fortnight during May. The scheme first got underway in the borough when Flixton Primary held a School Street trial in March of last year.

Izzy, a year five student at Tyntesfield Primary, is part of the Pupil Parliament – a group of elected pupils who represent the student’s voice in discussions about how the school is run. With sustainability amongst their primary focuses, Izzy along with her other year five Pupil Parliament representatives played a key role in the running of the school street at her school.

She said: “We’re trying to influence people to understand that driving to school isn’t the only way. You can park and stride, you can do loads of other things that will be more helpful for the planet and it’s really, really simple. This has been a great way of helping the planet and improving people’s lifestyles too”.

Cllr Stephen Adshead, Executive Member for Highways, Environmental & Traded Services, said: “We are committed to reducing the numbers of cars around schools and making these streets a safer environment for our children and young people.

“At some schools at drop off and pick up times there are too many cars trying to squeeze down a cul-de-sac – which is not a safe environment for pupils. Temporarily pedestrianising the area makes it a calmer and considerably less dangerous experience for everyone.”

“I hope as many people as possible will join and even go beyond by cycling and walking for short everyday trips.”

Trials will now continue at each of the schools involved with the aim of making them permanent. Data collection and resident consultation will remain a part of all future trials. Moorlands Junior School and St Vincent’s Catholic Primary School will join the group of schools taking part in the trials later this year.

Transport for Greater Manchester has several programmes open for schools interested in learning more about active travel. Up to 20 schools can take part in their Youth Travel Ambassador Programme. This programme provides students with the skills and confidence to address transport issues affecting their school community. Stretford High – one of the schools who took part in the most recent trials – were involved as a result of their involvement in this programme. More information is available here.

Targeting secondary school students, Own The Ride is a one-and-a-half-day course aimed at encouraging cycling to school, cycling for leisure and increasing children’s physical activity. Ran in partnership with BikeRight!, you can learn more about it here.

If you’d like to continue to follow the developments of the school streets programme in Trafford, please visit the dedicated webpage which will continue to be updated regularly - https://www.trafford.gov.uk/residents/transport-and-streets/road-safety/School-Streets.aspx.

Posted on Thursday 15th June 2023