Three primary schools in Gloucestershire applied for a ban on all motorists driving up to their school gates during peak hours. But later, the council announced that the time frame got postponed until October of this year.
A temporary move that was undertaken in July by the Gloucestershire County Council’s cabinet, it was supposed to come into effect immediately on the streets. But to this date, the roads near Kingsholm Primary, Warden Hill Primary, and Tewkesbury Primary remain open to motorcycles and cars.
The trial date got postponed to November during the date when students will be resuming their regular classes after their October half term.
The school authorities responded that their primary priority was to safely start schools following the “new normal” and the only reason why they choose to delay the trial for school streets.
But the documents from the office of Cheltenham Borough Council suggest different schemes. The report suggests that school authorities ” had not previously been invited to take part nor was called for consultation.” “lack of data for existing travel choices” can also be the reason for the delay of this trial, suggest others.
The county councils spokesman said that there are “absolutely no issues” regarding the statement that they were previously in consultation with Cheltenham’s Warden Hill Primary School and were already issuing an informal street ban once a week.
The project, locally known as ‘school streets,’ will help in decreasing air pollution in neighbourhoods and engage walking and cycling on the streets, eventually maintaining a safe social distance after the COVID pandemic.
Liberal Democrat councillor, Iain Dobie, proposed a budget of £100,000 to support this movement. The strategy behind starting the holidays was to channelize the money in helping traffic regulation orders, equipment, line signages and monitoring.
Mr. Dobie, who supported the movement by turning his car away from the school streets, stated the delay as “deeply depressing!”
He told the LDRS that instead of choosing a single reason, the council chose to delay all the schemes for all the three schools.
It now seems that complications arising due to the three different schemes will delay the trials until the second half of November. ” We need to encourage locals for safe walking and cycling for all students and their parents after the COVID crisis. Delaying the trial can pose a threat to the children.
But the spokesman of the council concluded by saying, “We listened to the feedback from the schools and they were more concerned about the safe return of the students rather than school street scheme. So we agreed to postpone the trails after October second term.”