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School Streets scheme to improve road safety in Washington

A trial scheme will see a street temporarily closed around St Bede's Primary School, Washington, to address road safety concerns and improve air quality.

School Street

The School Streets pilot scheme will restrict motorised vehicles on Hampshire Place at school drop-off and pick-up times to reduce high traffic levels and inconsiderate or illegal parking around the school.

The scheme also aims to encourage active travel to and from school and improve air quality in the area.

An experimental traffic regulation order will turn Hampshire Place into a pedestrian and cycle zone between 8:00 - 9:00am and 14:30 - 15:30pm with exemptions for residents requiring access and blue badge holders.

Peter McIntyre, Sunderland City Council's Executive Director of City Development, 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."

Mr Jonathon Anderson, head teacher at St Bede's Primary School, said: "Obviously, at St Bede's, the most important priority is the safety of our children and this includes when they arrive and leave school.

"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 Monday 25 April and will be monitored to determine the success of the scheme. If successful, Sunderland City Council will look to permanently implement the restrictions.

New signage has been placed at the entrances of the scheme to show the operational times and inform drivers of the restrictions.

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