School Streets Update: Read our report and recommendations
Over the last few years, Walk Ride Whalley Range has been supporting schools in Whalley Range to find ways to reduce traffic outside the school gates as well as encourage parents and carers to walk, wheel or cycle to school, where they are able.
We’ve now written a detailed report outlining our experience of supporting Manley Park Primary School in Whalley Range with their School Street over the last 9 months, whilst they have been taking part in the TfGM funded School Streets pilot project. We’ve supported volunteers, carried out consultations with parents, children and residents and monitored traffic. We’ve also been working with the Tyndall Centre at the University of Manchester to look at the impact of School Streets on traffic numbers and driving behaviour around all 7 of the Manchester schools in the TfGM pilot. We’ve pulled together our findings to set out the opportunities and challenges of having a School Street and our ask from Manchester City Council for the future.
Whilst our findings in the report relate mainly to Manley Park Primary School, we know from speaking to other schools that their experiences have been similar. Our key findings are:
- School Streets are generally popular, making parents and children feel safer and more confident about walking, wheeling and cycling to school
- They don’t necessarily lead to significant changes in active travel to school but can be the catalyst for other activities such as Walking Buses or Bike Trains that do encourage a modal shift
- Using volunteers to enforce a School Street is generally not practical in the long term
- Schools may need significant support for School Streets to be successful
That’s why we are calling on the Council and GM to develop a longer term, more sustainable solution which does not rely on volunteers for enforcement. We urge the Council to make use of its new powers for enforcing moving traffic offences.
We are campaigning for:
- More School Streets across GM, where feasible, and a faster rollout
- More support to schools to encourage active travel to school
- Camera enforcement of School Streets, not volunteers
As well as the report, we’ve made a film about our experience.