Parents to be banned from driving kids to school gates under new lockdown plans – The Sun

ROADS could be temporarily closed during the school run as part of new coronavirus lockdown plans.

The measures are being drawn up to prevent overcrowding at the school gates and to encourage more walking and cycling as well as air pollution.

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London and Manchester already have some plans in place and other cities are expected to follow.

Walking and cycling commissioner for London Will Norman told The Observer: “It will mean timed restrictions on traffic around schools to allow people to safely walk to school, cycle to school, scoot to school.

“I don’t mind if they are on space hoppers as long as it’s not by car.

“You need to reduce the amount of traffic to allow pupils and parents to walk safely.”

He added: “The last thing we want is kids and their parents stepping into a busy road or to see increasing air quality problems around schools.

“So that [temporary closure of roads twice a day] is going to have to be something that schools and local authorities plan for and I want all schools and councils to be looking at this urgently.”

The length of time temporary road closures around schools would last, and how they would work, will be decided by the local councils.

Transport chiefs are worried that if more people opt to use their cars for the school run after lockdown restrictions are eased there will be gridlock in urban areas and a rise in pollution levels around schools, creating health issues.

The move comes after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced a £2billion scheme “to put cycling and walking at the heart of our transport policy”.

A national cycling plan is due to be published in early June in a bid to help double cycling and increase walking by 2025.

Included in the plans are pop-up bike lanes, wider pavements and cycle and bus-only streets.

Trials of e-scooters are to be fast-tracked as well to get rental schemes up and running in urban areas.

According to the paper, every year more than 200million car journeys of less than 1km are made, may of those on the school run.

Graham Stapleton, the chief executive of retail chain Halfords, said he supported calls for trials on e-scooters.

“We welcome reports of a forthcoming government announcement on fast tracking e-scooter trials and think if this is true, it will go some way to setting a legal and regulatory framework that means they can be lawfully used on our roads. There is overwhelming public support for trials.”

London mayor Sadiq Khan said: “To help mitigate the impact of a greatly reduced capacity on public transport, due to social distancing, we will need millions of journeys a day to be made by other means.

“If people switch only a fraction of these journeys to cars, London risks grinding to a halt, air quality will worsen, and road danger will increase.

“Modelling has shown that there is potential for a tenfold increase in kilometres cycled and up to five times the amount of walking.

“Our Streetspace plan will act as a catalyst for this change, fast-tracking schemes that will enable many more people to take to two wheels or travel on foot.”





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