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A new initiative to make streets outside schools safer for children has launched across Medway this week.

The School Streets programme, launched in partnership with Medway Council and local schools, will see vehicle restrictions introduced in designated streets, turning them into pedestrian and cycle-only zones during drop-off and pick-up times in the school term. Its aim is to create a safer environment, improve air quality and reduce congestion, by reducing the number of vehicles outside schools.

The launch of the scheme follows the success of School Streets around the country, which has demonstrated the positive impact they can have on the school community, and we are excited to be introducing the initiative to Medway. It also comes after the council successfully secured £486k from the government’s Active Travel Fund, and follows consultation – which involved schools, residents and parents – held in June and September last year.

Feedback from the consultations led to amendments and design changes, and resulted in School Streets being designated outside seven schools.

These are:

·       Burnt Oak Primary School, Cornwall Road, Gillingham

·       Greenvale Primary School, Symons Avenue, Chatham

·       Miers Court Primary School, Silverspot Close, Rainham

·       Phoenix Primary School, Glencoe Road, Chatham

·       St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Greenfield Road, Gillingham

·       St Peter’s Infant School, Holcombe Road, Rochester

·       St Thomas More Catholic Primary School, Bleakwood Road, Walderslade.

A full list of the streets and operating times can be found on the council website.

Improving safety and air quality

Cllr Tris Osborne, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Enforcement, said:

“I’m delighted to see the introduction of the School Streets scheme, which will improve safety for children and improve air quality.

“The restrictions will take a while to get used to, hence a six month warning period, but ultimately there are benefits for everyone, from drivers around Medway to school users and residents.”  

Under the School Streets scheme

  • Vehicles must not enter the area unless they have an exemption, and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras will be used to monitor vehicles on the street during operational hours.
  • School Streets restrictions are only effective at drop-off and pick-up times, and anyone already parked on the street before these periods can remain parked. They are also free to exit the street without contravening the restrictions.
  • Restrictions will not be in place during school holidays or weekends, and there will be a six month warning period when School Streets start so road users have time to get used to the new system.
  • The first time a driver enters a School Street without an exemption, they will get a warning notice. After getting this notice, or once the six month warning period is over, drivers who do not follow the rules will receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).
  • School Streets have signs to warn drivers and tell them the operating times.
  • Drivers can apply for an exemption if they live or work in a restricted street, if they are carer for a vulnerable resident who lives on the street, or if they, or their child, is a blue badge holder and needs access to the street.
  • Exemptions will also be considered on a case by case basis.

For more information visit:

By Ed

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