New Sunderland Council trial scheme will see street temporarily closed around school to tackle problem parking

A trial street closure is to be operated near a Washington school to address road safety concerns and improve air quality.

Tuesday, 26th April 2022, 11:14 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 9:23 am

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The School Streets pilot scheme will restrict motorised vehicles on Hampshire Place at school drop-off and pick-up times as a way of tackling traffic issues around St Bede’s Primary School in Washington.

It aims to limit inconsiderate or illegal parking around the school and means that an experimental traffic regulation order will turn Hampshire Place into a pedestrian and cycle zone between 8am-9am and 2.30pm-3.3pm with exemptions in place for residents requiring access and blue badge holders.

Hampshire Place in Washington will be temporarily closed at school drop-off and pick-up times as a way of reducing traffic problems.

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He said: “We hope introducing a School Street around St Bede’s Primary School will reduce the overall volume of traffic near the school during drop-off and pick-up times and make these roads safer for parents, carers and staff.

“Despite zig-zag lines and signs displayed outside schools, inconsiderate and illegal parking can still cause problems and motorists stopping in the parking restricted zones outside schools endangers lives by blocking pedestrians’ views of the road and causing traffic congestion.

“We know School Streets schemes in the London Borough of Camden and the London Borough of Hackney have achieved traffic reductions of 43% and 34% respectively so we are hoping to see some positive results from this trial.”

The head teacher at St Bede’s Primary School, Jonathon Anderson, has welcomed the trial due to the “unusual” location of the school.

From left: Curtis Smith, technician at Sunderland City Council, Paul Muir, group engineer at Sunderland City Council, Simon Routledge - PCSO, Mr Anderson, headteacher at St Bede's, Stephen Dixon, group engineer at Sunderland City Council and Molly Briton - PCSO.

He added: "Obviously, at St Bede’s, the most important priority is the safety of our children and this includes when they arrive and leave school.

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“Due to the unusual position of our school in a cul-de-sac, this has presented challenges in terms of parking and the movement of vehicles in a small area.

“So far, the School Streets initiative is creating a calmer and safer environment for our children when entering and exiting at the school gates, which we welcome."

The trial started on Monday, April 25, and will be monitored to determine the success of the scheme – if successful, Sunderland City Council will look to permanently implement the restrictions.