School safety scheme targets pollution

A trial scheme to improve road safety and reduce pollution around school gates launched last week.

Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s first ‘healthy school streets’ scheme kicked off in Banim Street, Hammersmith, on 29 January and will last for two months.

The road will be closed to motor traffic on weekdays during the daily ‘school rush’ for the West London Free School.

“The school rush hour mixes high levels of vulnerable road users with high volumes of traffic and pollution, so we hope this trial will show how reducing traffic at peak times will make our roads safer and healthier for residents’ children,” said Cllr Wesley Harcourt, H&F Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and Residents’ Services.

Laura Bolton, parent of a child at the West London Free School Primary, praised the initiative and said it would also help improve air quality near the school.

“Many of us are relieved and delighted at the leadership shown by Hammersmith & Fulham Council and the school, who are working in partnership to dramatically improve safety and air quality for our young children.

“The Healthy School Streets scheme will now mean our children can arrive and leave school safely on an extremely busy road, and with lower exposure to dangerous levels of pollutants caused by idling cars.”

How does it work?

The scheme will be in effect on weekdays from 7.30am-8.30am and from 3pm-4.30pm. CCTV cameras will be used to enforce it.

Banim Street residents with a valid parking permit won’t be affected by the restriction and are free to drive into the street and park as usual. Blue badge holders can apply for an exemption for one vehicle.

Vehicles already parked in the street when scheme comes into effect will still be able to leave.

If the trial proves successful, other locations will be considered for expanding the scheme.