Reading will get get its first School Street – the council approved the scheme on Wednesday, November 18, which will  introduce a road closure at peak times outside Park Lane Primary School.

We put questions from Reading residents to the council and school and asked a few of our own to get a full picture of what School Streets will be like.

What is a School Street?

A School Street is where a road outside a school is temporarily closed to become a pedestrian and cycle zone during the school’s opening and closing times.

How does a School Street work?

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A School Street closes off sections of road outside or near to schools, where there are issues with parents parking when dropping children off at school. By temporarily closing roads outside schools this will help to reduce congestion and pollution at the school gates as well as making it easier and safer for children to get to and from school.

What is the council aiming to achieve?

Reading Borough Council (RBC) is working with businesses, schools and the wider community on a number of projects to improve air quality and travel across Reading. The School Streets scheme aims to reduce through-traffic directly outside schools which it says will create a safer and more pleasant environment for everyone.

What time are the restrictions enforceable?

The timings are dependent on the school and location of the School Street. They are generally around 8:15-9:15 in the morning and 2:30-3:30 in the afternoon for at least 45 minutes but can change depending on the school’s requirements. The temporary closure of Downing Road and Lambourne Close will be from 8.30 to 9am and 2.55 to 3.35pm.

READ MORE: Reading set to get first School Street – here is where it will be

What if I am already within the School Street parking area?

Vehicles already within the zone are free to leave during the restriction and residents can come and go throughout the road closure.

How will marshalls confirm residency?

The school will run a competition for children to design a residents badge. The winning one will then be printed, laminated and distributed to residents. They can display this in their window or have it in their car to show a marshal to enter access quickly to the road. The school also intends liaise with The British Legion to ensure regular clubs there, such as Slimming World, are also offered a badge.

I am a parent or carer. Can I enter the School Street zone?

No. Parents or carers dropping children at school will not be able to enter the School Street zone. You can only enter if you or your child are a blue badge holder or by special arrangements made with the school. You will still be able to walk, cycle or scoot to school.

What will happen with deliveries and any visitors to residential properties

Deliveries and access to properties by tradesmen will still be able to take place during the School Streets closure and people will still be able to visit residential properties during the closure for any reason.

Will taxis be able to access the road to drop off or pick up elderly/disabled residents/people with heavy bags?

Yes, the school and council do not want to restrict access to residents and businesses on the School Street, or anyone with a disability.

Won’t the scheme push parking issues elsewhere?

Part of the aim of the scheme is to encourage more people to travel sustainably. The council will assess the local roads during the trial to see whether there is displacement of vehicles. If this occurs, it will look to address issues by encouraging schools to consider complementary initiatives such as Park and Stride, Walking Buses, ensuring adequate cycling/scooter parking is available and additional cycling courses.

How will visitors know about the School Street?

Advanced warning signage will be installed on surrounding roads, informing road users of the timed closure outside the school. The school will produce letters and a survey to notify residents, parents, school staff and local businesses. The council will provide banners, posters and leaflets.

Can the trial be stopped if the school/residents are not happy with the School Street?

Yes, the order can be revoked and removed if there are major issues, however the council says this should be a last resort and  changes to the scheme should be trialled first before removal.

Is there a penalty charge for entering the School Street?

No, the council says it has no intention to issue penalty charges for entering a School Street