It’s a common nuisance during the school rush hours between 8am and 9am, and then again in the afternoon between 3pm and 4pm.
As the new school year gets underway it seems like the government are actioning some efforts to relieve this occurrence. Three key goals need to be achieved:
- Improve road safety for pedestrians, particularly young children.
- Improve air quality for local residents and children.
- Relieve traffic flow and reduce congestion around school zones.
To ensure this, some drastic plans have been rolled out over the country. In May it was reported that parents could soon land up to £1,000 in fines and a criminal record for driving their children to school.
From September, 3 primary schools in Croydon will be experimenting with ‘pedestrian zones’ over a trial of 6 months. These zones will operate during the peak times before and after school, for roughly 2 hours each day.
Exemptions will, of course, be made to teachers, residents and visitors to the school. The council will enforce these rules through the use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras.
The three schools involved are Woodcote, in Coulsdon, as well as Heavers Farm and St Chads which are both in Selhurst.
Fines will cost £130, reduced to £65 if paid within a fortnight.
Truly worrying statistics and research claims that air pollution is currently at illegal levels in 90% of urban areas, and contributing to around 40,000 premature deaths each year. This is made worse in school areas, where children breathe in 50% more air than adults (relative to body weight).
Other incentives include an ‘idling’ fine which was proposed back in April. This alternative would see a £20 on the spot fine given to any motorist sat outside the school gates with their engine running.
Of course, while there are congestion issues and environmental impacts to consider, these incentives are all a proactive effort to encourage more parents to walk their children to school or cycle if possible.