Ashley Down bids to join School Streets scheme

ASHLEY Down Primary School is taking steps to improve safety, reduce congestion and improve air quality outside its gates by proposing to join Bristol City Council’s School Streets programme.

The scheme, which restricts car use at the beginning and end of the school day, aims to make it easier and safer to walk or cycle to school.

Traffic in Olveston Road will be curbed for 40 minutes in the morning and 40 minutes in the afternoon, with only emergency vehicles, Blue Badge holders and residents with permits allowed access.

The road will become a walking, cycling, wheeling, and scooting-only zone between 8.30am and 9.10am and between 2.50pm and 3.30pm.

The council is consulting parents, staff and neighbours about the proposal. The deadline for comments is 5pm on February 17.  If approved, the scheme will be introduced later this year.

Amy Sood, headteacher of Ashley Down Primary School, said: “We continue to encourage active travel to Ashley Down and can see the benefits this has to children and families in promoting exercise and reducing traffic congestion around school. The School Streets programme offers an opportunity to limit road usage around the school site and create safer pavements for our families to walk on.”

Councillor Don Alexander, cabinet member for transport, said: “We are really ramping up our School Streets programme. School Streets help to reduce parking, traffic congestion, and air quality issues at the school gates, while improving road safety for children and their families.

“Our aim is to also encourage active travel, and getting people into the routine of walking, cycling and scooting from a young age will help embed this with our next generation.”

Permanent School Streets schemes are in place at: Wansdyke Primary School in Whitchurch; St Peter’s CofE Primary School in Bishopsworth; Minerva Primary Academy in Hillfields; Whitehall Primary School in Easton; Redfield Educate Together Academy in Redfield; and Victoria Park Primary School in Windmill Hill.

Two other primary schools, St Bernadette’s in Whitchurch and Fairfurlong in Withywood are hoping to set up School Streets this year.

Cathedral Primary School and Bristol Cathedral Choir School in the city centre held a consultation late last year on setting up a School Street.  A trial scheme is under way at Chester Park Primary in Fishponds.