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Two Dorset schools making more space for social distancing during the school run

Sustrans School Streets schemes

Two Dorset schools are making more space outside their gates at pick up and drop off times as pupils return to school.

The School Streets schemes will restrict motor traffic at specific times to make more space for social distancing during the school run. The schools taking part are Upton Junior School in Poole and Manor Park First School in Dorchester.

The schemes are being delivered by Dorset Council in partnership with walking and cycling charity Sustrans. They are being funded through a grant from the Department for Transport’s Emergency Active Travel Fund as a result of COVID-19.

We’re really pleased to see Dorset Council and these schools taking the initiative to put School Streets in place.

These schemes will help to give families the space they need to get to school safely. As a road free from vehicles could typically gain an extra seven metre wide space for pedestrians, maintaining physical distancing at busy school run times will become much easier.

Previous School Streets schemes have proved beneficial for road safety and air quality. And they create a cleaner, more pleasant environment outside the school. In turn, School Streets increase the likelihood that children will walk or cycle to school instead of being dropped off in a car, so they experience the benefits that active travel brings to their health and wellbeing.

James Cleeton, Sustrans

The safety and wellbeing of school children and parents across Dorset will always be a key priority for the Council, so this is a win/win for everybody involved.

As we face a climate and ecological emergency and students return to school from lockdown, we need to be doing all we can to promote greener forms of transport – especially walking and cycling – to improve our environment and public health.

We’re proud to work with Sustrans to deliver such a progressive scheme and I look forward to seeing the results.

Councillor Ray Bryan, Dorset Council

Sustrans is supporting schools across the country to deliver School Streets as part of its commitment to making it easier for people to walk and cycle.

The charity hopes that schools, local authorities and residents will see the benefits of the schemes and consider options for making them more permanent, as a number of schools across the UK already have.

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