Campaigning for permanent school streets
In May 2022, we wrote a blog setting out our position on School Streets:
Since writing the blog, progress has been made at both a Manchester and Greater Manchester level.
We welcome the targets set out in the Manchester Active Travel Strategy for 70% of children walking or cycling to primary school and 40% of secondary age children by 2028. Also to deliver one permanent School Street per ward by 2028.
We are also happy to see active travel to school as a priority in the refreshed GM Active Travel Mission, with the ambition to deliver a new plan for travel between home and school that reduces the number of children being driven less than 2km to their school.
However, our views remain the same:
- School Streets school be positioned as partnership between community and council rather than a community-led activity
- Councils in GM need to take a borough-led approach rather than ad hoc schools trying to progress their own school street
- Volunteer enforced School Streets are not a viable long term option and GM councils commit to using their powers to enforce moving traffic violations through use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) to automate enforcement once these powers come into effect (It pays for itself within a year)
ANPR pays for itself within a year. We want to see @ManCityCouncil
preparing for permanent School Streets with cameras not volunteers ready for when it receives its new powers to enforce moving traffic offences. https://t.co/MrY1KrUZs1
— Walk Ride Whalley Range (@ride_walk) January 31, 2023
We welcome Dame Sarah Storey’s view that School Streets should act as a focal point for Active Neighbourhoods and cameras in place instead of volunteers for enforcement.
VE: Lessons learned from elsewhere in the country. GM is well on the journey… we want bikes on trams.
AB: by the end of this year thebikes on trams pilot will have started.
— Walk Ride GM (@WalkRideGM) January 31, 2023
On March 30th 2022, following our campaigning, a motion was passed in full council to ensure safe crossing places were outside of all schools in Manchester. We were happy to see the motion incorporated into Ambition 1 of the Active Travel Strategy as agreed in the meeting. It can’t come soon enough, with road traffic danger only too apparent in Whalley Range.
We were distressed but not surprised to hear of a child being hit by a car driven by another parent picking up their child outside a local school resulting in a fractured foot. We need @ManCityCouncil to follow through sooner on their promise for a safe crossing for every school.
— Walk Ride Whalley Range (@ride_walk) May 19, 2023
— Walk Ride Whalley Range (@ride_walk) January 4, 2023
The council has committed to completing their audit of school and park entrance points by September 2023 with a mechanism in place for regular updating. Despite requests for updates, we have yet to see any progress on this.