Streets outside some schools in Reading could close to vehicles at drop-off and pick-up times as soon as Christmas, the council has revealed.

Reading Borough Council (RBC) has invited schools and colleges across the borough to apply to create a School Street outside their buildings.

And it has now revealed that the first School Streets could be ready to go as soon as this December.

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Councillor Tony Page, lead member for Environment, Planning and Transport at RBC, said the creation of School Streets “will not only make travel to schools safer and allow for social distancing, but also create a healthier and more pleasant local environment for everyone”.

The scheme, which allows closures of roads outside schools from traffic for up to 45 minutes twice a day during term time, could be in operation outside some schools from December, according to RBC.

The first road to close vehicles at peak times could be Crescent Road in east Reading, where three schools have backed the plan.

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School Streets is part of a wider RBC programme aimed at supporting children to travel to school in a healthier and more environmentally friendly way, which includes a new school travel portal featuring an interactive map and dedicated travel advice for every school in the borough:

The council has been granted £150,000 by the Department for Transport (DfT) encourage sustainable school trips and enable schools and colleges to re-open safely in September.

How schools can create School Streets

Schools interested in taking part can download information and an application pack here.

The application includes info on how schools should consult with residents before sending in their submission.

Once an application is made, this will be followed by a survey of the school, network management and creation of signage.

The council will assist in developing the traffic management plan for the road closure and providing appropriate signs and barriers.

It says it should take about ten weeks to put a School Street in place.

What if my car is parked on the road or I need to gain access?

Any vehicles already parked in the road can stay or leave throughout the duration of the School Street.

Only eligible vehicles can gain access to the road during the School Street closure, which will be managed by the school when in operation.