A trial council scheme has begun that temporarily closes traffic-clogged roads during the school run to get people to use cars less.
Starting today (Tuesday 5 September) the roads by three primary schools – Heavers Farm and St Chad’s in Selhurst and Woodcote in Coulsdon – are restricted on the morning and afternoon school runs. The schools signed up to the six-month council scheme because of their concerns about parking and pedestrian safety.
The council is asking for feedback during the trial and, if it proves successful, the scheme will become regular at these schools and could be trialled at others in the borough.
The roads are not physically closed to traffic; instead, the council uses temporary automatic number plate recognition cameras to scan if vehicles passing through the pedestrian zones have permission. Residents and their visitors are able to enter or leave the zones by applying free of charge for an advance access permit – and over 800 people have already successfully applied.
Motorists driving in the zones during the school run without a valid permit will receive a £130 penalty charge notice, or £65 if paid within a fortnight. All surplus revenue from these penalty charge notices goes towards the Freedom Pass for eligible older or disabled residents in London.
Signs are in place to inform drivers that they are entering the school run pedestrian zones, and council staff marshal parking and road safety on nearby streets. The pedestrian zones are:
• Woodcote Primary in Dunsfold Rise, Coulsdon (including Fairfield Way and Meadow Rise)
• Heavers Farm Primary in Dinsdale Gardens, Selhurst
• St Chad’s Catholic Primary in Alverston Gardens, Selhurst.
The pedestrian zones at Heavers Farm and St Chad’s are from 8-9.30am and 2-4pm, and the zone outside Woodcote Primary is from 8-9.30am and 2.30-4pm.
The trial comes as part of several Croydon Council initiatives to improve the borough’s environment, from school travel plans and free cycling lessons to the introduction of 20mph speed limits across the borough.
“These roads are a school run traffic headache for everyone, so this trial is about improving child safety and boosting walking and the environment.
“By getting hundreds of individual parents to park legally outside these pedestrian zones or – even better – at home, we hope this will make a big difference and we want to hear what people think.
“The temporary number plate cameras will help our officers make a fair decision on who can drive through the pedestrian zones and who can’t, allowing residents, their visitors, school staff and delivery drivers to go about their business as usual.”
Councillor Stuart King, cabinet member for transport and environment
To give feedback on the trial school run pedestrian zones, email: firstname.lastname@example.org