Sutton Council has announced it will launch ten new School Street schemes to improve air quality and make school journeys safer and cleaner for children across the borough.
The proposed schemes will see roads outside selected schools closed to motor vehicles during school drop-off and pick-up times. Restrictions will not apply to exempt groups that include residents in the affected roads and the schemes will only operate during term time.
The schemes are designed to reduce air pollution and congestion around school gates at start and finish times, and to encourage families to use sustainable modes of transport to and from school, such as walking, cycling and scooting.
According to research, children growing up in polluted areas in London have significantly smaller lung volume, with a loss of approximately five per cent in lung capacity – equivalent to two large eggs – compared to children the same age in the rest of England. Poor air quality stunts the growth of children’s lungs and worsens chronic illnesses, such as asthma, lung and heart disease.
The introduction of the ten school streets follows two consultations of affected residents and businesses. The schemes will go live on 1 November 2021. A full list of the ten school streets can be found at bit.ly/SuttonSchoolStreets.
Councillor Manuel Abellan, Chair of Sutton Council’s Environment & Sustainable Transport Committee, said:
“These ten school streets will play an important part in the Council’s plans to help the borough’s residents recover after the pandemic and build an even stronger Sutton. They will help reduce car journeys, congestion around school gates and improve local air quality.
“School Streets will also have a key role in how the borough deals with the impacts of climate change by encouraging more sustainable journeys to and from school on foot, bike or scooter.
“I would like to thank all the residents and businesses who took the time to respond to the consultations. We have listened to their concerns and ensured that residents and their carers can apply for exemptions.
“Sutton children and parents can now look forward to having one of the highest number of school streets in London to keep them safe at the start and end of the school day.”