School Streets

Pilot scheme aims for a car-free environment at a small number of schools across the county.

A School Street is a timed road closure near school gates that restricts access for motor vehicles during school drop-off and pick-up times. Some exemptions apply, read the frequently asked questions.

The aim is to create a safe, welcoming and attractive environment where children, parents and teachers can walk, wheel, cycle, scoot or park and walk to school without the risk of traffic. School Streets create places where children can thrive, and be healthier and happier because they have the added benefit of reducing air pollution and creating safe places where children can boost their confidence in active travel.

The School Streets programme is part of Oxfordshire County Council’s Travel to School policy which was approved at a Cabinet meeting on 21 June 2022 (see report, item 13,) as part of our countywide Local Transport & Connectivity Plan. This policy contributes to our vision to make “walking, cycling, public and shared transport the natural first choice.” 

School Streets is funded by the Department for Transport’s active travel initiative. It was first launched under an experimental traffic regulation order (ETRO) in 2021. Nine schools in Oxfordshire participated in the six-week trial. Five of these schools continue the trial until the ETRO expires in summer 2022. Four of these schools wish to make the School Streets programme permanent from September 2022.

Consultation

Our consultation survey on Let’s Talk Oxfordshire has now closed. To share your views with us or ask any questions about School Streets, please write to us via email at schoolsactivetravel@oxfordshire.gov.uk.

In the survey, we asked for views on our proposal to make permanent Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) so we can continue the School Streets programme with participating schools in Oxfordshire from autumn 2022. The survey was open from 13 July to 26 August 2022.

The participating schools are:

  • Oxford – Larkrise primary school
  • Oxford – Windmill primary school
  • Oxford – St Ebbe’s CE primary school
  • Abingdon – St Nicolas CE primary school.

Under the proposal, the streets by the school gates would be ‘closed’ to general motor vehicle traffic for around 45 minutes during school start and finish times (term-time only). Signs at road entrances will display closure times. Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras will be used to enforce motor vehicle restrictions during the specified closure times.

Data from the initial six-week trial (March to July 2021) has been analysed to assess the project's success.

These results from the trial, along with some case studies and additional information, can be found in this report School Streets in Oxfordshire: Creating safer spaces for walking and cycling to school (pdf format, 3.3Mb). Similar schemes in the London boroughs of Camden and Hackney have achieved a 43% and 34% reduction in motor traffic respectively during the closure times.

How to apply for future schemes

We hope to continue with School Street trials to address parking and safety issues in schools, promote healthier travel options and prioritise the safety of children entering and leaving their place of education. If your school would like to take part in a School Streets scheme please email schoolsactivetravel@oxfordshire.gov.uk.